Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Writing to market?

Photo courtesy of Beauty in Everything
I think all of us, at one point or another, can remember a book we could not put down. That story whose characters beckoned you to keep reading and whose plot was so intriguing you could NOT look away. You lose yourself in the story and when it's over feel a little sad about putting the book down and walking away from it.

While reading queries and submissions by my clients over the past few weeks, I've realized that the stories I want to sell are the ones I feel saddened by walking away from after reading them. The stories whose message resonates with me and makes me physically ache for more. I've found that these stories are usually the ones the authors did not intend to write in the first place but the stories their characters wanted to tell. They're not always written for a specific market or genre (often times they straddle genres and break all kinds of "rules" in the genres they want to sell them in) but they're always compelling.

Once authors are published the demands to continue to sell grow to a point where they can be all-consuming. They may choose to write to a specific market because they "hear" it's where all the sales are or write to a genre simply because it's "known" to make more money. These authors soon find themselves burned out or suffering from writer's block as they struggle to make money because the book they thought was going to get them money in the market they wrote to is not doing so well. Why? Readers can spot a fake a mile away and when an author is not true to their characters and to themselves, it's evident in their work.