Invisible Ink began as a series of blog posts I wrote when I was deeply embedded in the fangirl culture surrounding a certain rocker/actor/celebrity. His fan base is RABID to say the least, and I was very active within it.
In the last year or so, I have distanced myself from that fan base and, at the same time, prepared to transform my fan fic into the novella that became Invisible Ink.
I was still hoping, however, to tap into this particular fan base in order to sell the novella online. After all, people loved my story when it was free on Tumblr. Wouldn't these same girls pay $2.99 to read an improved, extended version of it?
One thing I didn't anticipate? The marketing of a book is kind of tricky if it started as a fan fic. After all, some readers might be turned off by my choice of celebrity and not buy the book if they figured out its origins. For example, I do not find Jake Gyllenhall attractive at all. If I found out a book I bought was about him, I probably would be turned off.
What's worse, marketing a book as "inspired by XYZ" it turns out is frowned upon by celebrities as an "unauthorized use" of their name. That's why, I guess, the extremely successful One Direction fan fiction turned novel "After" by Anna Todd never actually mentions 1D anywhere -- although Todd does use the band members' names. (Side note, who knew One Direction fan fic was where the money is?)
Recently, after my book as released, someone working for my celebrity inspiration spotted an image on a Facebook group posted by one of my readers. The image said clearly "Inspired by XYZ" on it along with my book cover. My reader received an email from the celebrity staffer saying that the image had to be removed from the Internet. It was.
The question remains, should I tell readers who love this celeb that they should buy my book? Obviously, they will love it more than others will...seems like a great selling point, right? But it's a point I cannot make without possibly angering the celeb and his powerful fan base.
So...is it worth it?