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  • Writer's pictureA. A. Vora

An attempt to market SPIN OF FATE

Updated: Apr 20

I am not a marketer. My limited experience comes from working in the Japanese pharmaceutical & healthcare sector, where marketing is highly regulated, with an emphasis on precision—even the slightest bit of misinformation could have devastating consequences, including adverse health outcomes for patients... and at worse, death.


So I come into this from a rather cautious perspective, which I acknowledge might not be conducive to marketing a book. I've come to learn that in publishing, marketing needs to sound catchy, exciting, trendy. Honestly, I struggle with this and it's something I need to improve on.


The way I approach marketing is: not all books are for everyone, and readers' time and money are valuable resources. As an author, I'd like to manage reader expectations and be transparent about what you're signing up for when you buy my book.


There are readers who like to go into a book with minimal information, be surprised, and discover more on the way—which is great, and I honestly wish I was more adventurous (I'm the kind of freak who reads game walkthroughs before playing, and it drives my husband up the wall).


But for other who prefer getting accurate information upfront, please continue to read. Below the image, I've provided what I hope is a transparent summary of what you can expect in SPIN OF FATE—without spoiling much, of course!


Image: screenshot of my Publisher's Weekly deal announcement superimposed on background artwork made by me on Procreate.


Magic system and plot

SPIN OF FATE features a fairly complex hard magic system loosely inspired by the law of karma (more on that here). To summarize: humans are separated into 4 upper and lower realms with vastly different living conditions. The realm(s) one may enter and live in are determined by the 'spin' of their soul, which in turn depends on the cumulative morality of their intentions, actions, and thoughts. It's your societal hierarchy setting, with a twist.

The rules and mechanics of the magic drive much of the plot, and characters must learn more about how it functions to "solve" the mystery. It's a bit scientific in that sense. Overall, it's the kind of thing I'd hope Sanderson fans might enjoy, although it's not as complex as, say, Cosmere's systems.


Worldbuilding

SPIN OF FATE features an original mythology, by which I mean the overall world, its religion, and the magical creatures that inhabit it—while being inspired in part by elements of India and Japan—are not adjacent to any particular country, culture, religion, or time period.

I'd like to emphasize on the religious aspect here. SPIN OF FATE features a polytheistic religion (like Hinduism), but its deities are purely imagined and meant to bear no resemblance to Hinduism's many. On the contrary, they were inspired by Naruto's bijū and several legendary Pokémon.


Characters

SPIN OF FATE follows 3 POV characters, with equal chapter count and converging storylines. All three characters are teenagers and narrated in 3rd person past tense.

  • Aina, a disillusioned lower-born girl who ascended by chance; she is desperate to reunite with her mother, who remains trapped in their homeland

  • Aranel, a spoiled upper-born insecure about the spin of his soul; in an attempt to prove his worth, he accepts a dangerous spy mission

  • Meizan, a ruthless lower-born raised amongst violence; he is fighting to save his clan from extinction and cares about little else


Relationships

Enemies-to-friends, rivalries, and found families feature strongly. As for romance... there isn't much, apart from some subtext in book 1, which is mostly setting the scene for what may (or may not) come to fruition in later books. Readers looking for a spicy or swoony read might be disappointed.

Being demiromantic + graysexual myself, I hesitate to market the romance in this book as slow-burn. It is, by my standards, but I fear it might be lacking by current YA standards. To give you an idea of romances I enjoyed, my favorite ships are Sasuke/Sakura, Naruto/Hinata, Eren/Mikasa, Edward/Winry, Mustang/Hawkeye, and Wei Wuxian/Lan Wangji.

I've been asked about character sexualities. Without revealing too much, I will say that 2 of the 3 main characters are queer.


Pacing and themes

I'd say this is medium to fast paced by adult fantasy standards, but perhaps on the slower end for YA. There are quite a few action scenes, but I wrote this to be introspective in parts, with a focus on worldbuilding and magic system (though not as much as I'd like!).

A quarter of the book—pretty much the entirety of part 2—follows a training arc. I know training arcs can be divisive (for me, there's nothing I love more) so I wanted to state that upfront.

SPIN OF FATE has a heavy thematic element, with plenty of moral ambiguity all around... from the magic system to certain character motivations. Key themes include systematic oppression; nurture versus nature; the twisting / misinterpretation of religion to further divide, and more. While there is a religious aspect to the story, please note that SPIN OF FATE is in no way a commentary for or against any particular religion or belief.


Comp titles

Though I recognize the value of comp titles as a marketing tactic, I personally dislike them. I've almost never seen them used in Japan, but they seem a staple in certain other markets. When I pitched to my agent, I did so using NARUTO x THE GOLDEN COMPASS, which he agreed were workable comps—make of that what you will.

Despite my misgivings, I will attempt to provide a few more comps, although to me these serve more as inspirations than accurate reflections of my book content.

  • Magic system: Naruto (chakra), The Golden Compass (dust), Wheel of Time (channeling), Psycho-Pass (crime coefficient)... and obviously the Bhagavad Gita (karma).

  • Characters and their dynamics: Naruto, Kuroko no Basuke, Free!—basically a lot of shounen / sports manga.

You might see official marketing that uses different comps, including An Ember in the Ashes and Avatar: The Last Airbender. Full disclosure—while it's an honor to be comp'd to such beloved titles, I am not too familiar with their contents myself and thus cannot attest to how well they represent SPIN OF FATE.


Final words—like most authors, I have little to no control over how my book gets marketed. I realize I'm also not entitled to have readers make that extra effort to search for posts like this one. But if you've made it this far, I'm grateful. I hope I've piqued your interest... or saved you the trouble. In any case, thank you for your time.

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