Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Business Musings: What Market?

Author Kristine Kathryn Rusch has written a very long, detailed, and thought-provoking article about the market for fiction stories.

The key point she makes is that there is “no” market. By the time a genre or style or interest is discernible to the average person, the peak has passed.

Historically speaking the big print publishers decided what readers wanted to read and that was what they produced. For those who weren’t interested in reading such books it was simply too bad. No one actually surveyed readers and asked them what they wanted. Even today if a particular genre is selling well publishers buy more and more books in that genre until readers are sick of it and sales taper off. But because of the long time lag in print publishing, dozens of books will still be in production and coming along after readers have tired of that genre. Those authors, who submitted as instructed, and wrote what they were told to, are unlikely to make much money.

There are no gatekeepers in indie publishing, no one telling authors what genre they should write. Writers who try to copy the “market” might make some money, but are unlikely to strike it rich or really enjoy themselves.

I have ALWAYS advised writers to write what their passion is. That way their love will shine through in their writing.

Ms. Rusch says the same thing. “…what makes a book unique and different isn’t the plot or the subgenre…It’s the writer himself. His perspective. His voice. His take on something that the writer—the writer—loves. The books that breakout, the ones that become memorable breakouts, the books that everyone else is chasing—those books are written from the heart, not from some cynical analysis of a market that no one understands.”

So write what you want to write. Maybe you’ll make some money and maybe you won’t. But at least you’ll be having fun, not getting burned out.

Ms. Rusch’s comprehensive article is here:

Helen Woodall

Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.

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