Where Did Faythe of North Hinkapee Come From – Out of Some Dumb Marketing Errors Part 1

Faythe of North Hinkapee is a saga.  And it hits the following themes:


Historical fiction set in Colonial Times

A young woman protagonist who triumphs against adversity

Women being the key players – protagonists, ruthless enemies, close friends with deep inter-woman bonds and relationships – and all having travails and triumphs against ruthless men

A love story wound in interactions – both positive and negative ones — among Native Americans and White People

Justice sought against terrible actions by very bad people

Some swashbuckling mixed in through an aging swordsman

A Native American woman whose prowess with the bow and arrow is breathtaking


The goal was a page-turner.  And I knew it was exactly that.


Then I made three – BIG – mistakes in marketing the book…


First – I called the book: Girl With a Knife.  This title was kinda dumb, as it sounded like a slasher book.  Steven King aficionados found it interesting, but not Ken Follett readers.  A lot of people discovered the book but – thinking it was a slasher book and finding out it was really historical fiction — didn’t want to buy it.  And those who should have discovered it – i.e. historical fiction readers who like women in leading roles – never heard about it.


Second – the cover had – well – I guess obviously – a girl holding a knife.  This made the foregoing problem even worse.


By the way, the protagonist – Faythe – does have a knife in her possession, but it is really not that relevant to the story.


Third – I broke it up into five books.  Why did I do this?  Because I was told up and down that a best seller couldn’t be more than about 80,000 to 100,000 words and I believed that orthodoxy.  I am sure it is true most of the time, but it induced me to make it into five books.  And who wants to read five books with 60 day increments between them?


So I blew it.  After all that work, I just screwed the marketing pooch.  Damn!!!!!


But then something strange – and amazing – started to happen…..


Those who did buy the book loved it!!!


Reviews averaged 4.5 on Amazon for the first book in the series.  Notably, Pillars of the Earth is only 4.6!!!


Some of the customer reviews said the following:


A fantastic book that had me hooked from the first page.

Couldn’t put it down

A thoroughly enjoyable 5/5 stars and I am eager for more

A page turner leaving you wanting more

A great book

Couldn’t put it down

Riveting book

Riveting plot

A true page turner loved it

Love the characters

An amazing book


So it hit me clear in the face.  I had written a true best seller and messed up the marketing.


My plan now was set before me – I had to start over.