Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Screwtape...And Marketing

I was thinking about my story "The Devil's Snare: A Comedy" yesterday for no particular reason and at some point in my cogitations I thought the story was similar to C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters. I Lewis's book, a senior demon writes letters of advice to a junior demon who is trying to subvert his assigned human. The skewed point of view lends the book some humor amid some serious theology.

My story is told by the Devil himself as he tries to tempt an elderly lady. Things don't go exactly as he plans, but then, he's the Devil, so how bad can things get? Like Lewis, some humor, some serious thinking. I figured, if you like Lewis's effort, you'll like mine, so I went to Amazon and added a "tag," a label that buyers can use to find books in a category. I put down "Screwtape."

Now, Lewis is a popular author and outside of the Narnia books, Screwtape is probably his most popular work. When you go to the Kindle store at Amazon and type in "Screwtape," you get my short story 8th and I'm wondering about that. While I think there is a similarity and the actual titles of the two works share nothing in common, I wonder if I'm misleading readers. For instance, might someone think my story is some sort of C.S. Lewis fan-fiction that actually uses Screwtape as a character? Nothing in my description suggests that, but what if?

Well, I don't think I've done anything wrong - the buyer who thought they were getting Lewis fan-fiction would be making that assumption based on very little. But I don't know if there is a "tag" etiquette. If I haven't, then this seems like a good way to "position" one's work - look for similar authors and use their names/titles, etc as tags. Let me know. I'm curious to hear from more tech savvy readers.



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