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Inventiveness in Publishing
by Wayne MacLaurin

"So Rodger, how's the mid-March issue coming along?"
"Sounds like its going to be a great issue. Who's doing the editorial?"
"Me!! What do you mean me? I've already got three reviews due and another half dozen or so in the pipe. Nobody told me that I was also doing the editorial. Where's the memo?
"But... but... but..."
"OK... I'll give it a shot. I've had an idea brewing about TSR that I might be able to use. Don't expect a treatise on world peace or anything but I'll give it a try..."

Double Diamond Triangle Saga Double Diamond Triangle Saga™
TSR has always been a leader in inventive marketing. They turned Role Playing Games from a cottage industry using mimeographs and photocopiers to an industry full of rich art work, elaborate packaging and high production quality. They also pretty much invented the novel tie-in. Sure, there have always been a couple Star Trek novels kicking around, but TSR created an entire industry based on publishing novels derived from their popular gaming system. Other publishers soon followed and we now have a collection of work that fills a major portion of the Fantasy section at your bookstore; they appeal to a huge market and they sell like mad.

But simply dominating the market doesn't make one original (can anybody say Microsoft?). TSR has been the leader in many endeavours and this year they are at it again.

Following Stephen King's lead (The Green Mile), TSR has taken a stab at publishing some books targeted at the $2.99 US price point. However, not wanting to be a mere copy-cat, TSR is doing it a bit differently...

The Double Diamond Triangle Saga™ is a series of short (80-90 pages) novellas/novelettes that make up a larger story. The difference comes in the way the episodes of the series fit together. Several completely separate plot lines are being published as separate books. Depending on the order in which you read them, the story unfolds differently.

It remains to be seen if the series is actually any good, but the concept is interesting. The fact that the series is being written by several different authors makes me somewhat apprehensive (I'm not a fan of fantasy by committee), but I've read the first three installments (covering two of the plot lines) and TSR has me hooked -- for the time being anyway.

So... hats off to TSR's inventiveness. I suspect it will spawn an entirely new segment of the industry as various publishers try their hand at this unique approach. The only drawback I can find is the inevitable wait between installments. I hate waiting for sequels...

Double Diamond Triangle Saga™
1 The Abduction by J. Robert King
2 The Paladins by James M. Ward & David Wise
3 The Mercenaries by Ed Greenwood
4 Errand Of Mercy by Roger Moore
5 An Opportunity For Profit by Dave Gross
6 Conspiracy by J. Robert King
7 Uneasy Alliances by David Cook with Peter Archer
8 Easy Betrayals by Richard Baker
9 The Diamond by Ed Greenwood & J. Robert King

Copyright © 1998 by Wayne MacLaurin

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