Cliffhanger Marketing

Image: Wikipedia
Image: Wikipedia

 When we left our heroes, Norman, Jake, and Wanda dangled over the boiling lava pit, suspended in the air by a single strand of dental floss.

 “I believe it’s beginning to stretch…” Jake gasped.

The cliffhanger, the white-knuckler squeaker of a nasty dilemma that makes you just want to, makes you just have to, makes you just DIE to start the next chapter and see what happens, is an old, old way to sell stories.

Scheherazade used them to keep herself alive in the One Thousand and One Nights, remember? The king was going to lop off her head when she reached the end of her story, so she spun out cliffhangers, night after night, until he finally said “dude, like, cut it out!” That may be a loose translation.

The upside of cliffhangers is that you bring the audience back for the next chapter. It’s rather a component of gorilla marketing, wherein you don’t do anything, and let the story do all the work.

The downside is that your story becomes lurchy, if that’s a word, and rather roller coastery, if that’s a word. Your sensitive love story about a girl and her pet dragon must necessarily take a turn for the violent, or for extreme emotions: I HATE you, Nogard bellowed. The end.

Another downside is that cliffhangers become rather tedious. For goodness sake, can’t he AVOID the traps once in a while? The old Batman TV show had just 22 minutes to get out of a cliffhanger, tell some story, and get into a new one, making the Caped Crusader seem, I don’t know, rather cartoonish?

So, it is with a blend of cliffhangery, if that’s a word, and gorilla marketing, that you now find Chapter Two of MARIGOLD’S END here on this very site.

Taa Daa!

As you’ll recall from Chapter One, our troubled twelve-year-old, Phineas Caswell, points the loaded pistol,  trigger-finger itchery (if that’s a word), squarely at the running-away back of Alfred Townsend, the unarmed bully that has made his life a living hell. Will he pull the trigger and end his woes? Will He? WILL HE???

Well, now you can find out. The second chapter, cleverly titled Chapter Two, now has it’s own page. Oh, and you’ll be surprised at the turn of events.         I hope.

Now you can read the chapters, build up steam, get rolling in MARIGOLD’S END, and wait breathlessly for Chapter Three. Oops – I gave away the title!

Before you get all wormy-squirmy and palm-sweaty like you do in the seat across the car dealer sales manager (How am I going to get you into that car today, friend?), I must remind   you: this is gorilla marketing. Don’t buy the book – you can’t!

But, let me know what you think, would you? Liked it? Hated it? Mondo disregardo? Your feedback, my independent writer friend, is most needed.

Now, I’m not desperate – I know that’s what you’re thinking.  But, I’m not, I’m not, I’m not. My darling editor is moooviiiing soooo slooooowly, think of this as Plan B.

Your input, spread out over the number of weeks over which I plan to release a chapter…let’s see, here, 18 chapters, take away the 2 I’ve already released…let’s see, carry the 1…should coincide with her completion of her editorial chore.

Badda boom, badda bing, and all I have to do is NOTHING! Now THAT, my reader friend, is gorilla marketing!

 

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Author: John Reinhart

Technical writer John Reinhart says his mission is to get his readers excited about the possibilities of and wonders of planetary science. A happily married father of three from Ventura, CA, he holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Cal State Chico, has taught college courses, and is working on his second novel.

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