What do you think?

Published by audenjohnson on

Ever read “proven” writing advice that bothered you so fiercely it created a physical reaction? 

Reading Publish Your Book: Proven Strategies and Resources for the Enterprising Author, I came across this:

“Before you invest your time, energy and money into a project, you need to know whether there is a market for your book. Is your idea valid? Is there a need for this book?”

Not quite squirming but really weary.

Inexperienced authors make the mistake of writing “the book to suit their own emotional or altruistic needs without considering its commercial value. Once the book is completed, they try to find a publisher.”

I have an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach.

“You’ve established that there is a market for it. You’ve decided on a publisher. You’ve sent out at least one query letter. And you’ve developed a chapter outline. It’s finally time to shift into writer mode.”

Now, I’m officially bothered.

The author’s pushing a very market centered approach, taking all the magic out of writing. 

As I’ve said in other posts, I have little say in what novels to work on. They just come to me. They nag and nag and nag until I commit to them.

One short story was adamant about being a novel but I really didn’t want to do it because the world building would be a nightmare. The story was insistent. Despite my best efforts, my mind was creating scenes. I was losing sleep. When I finally gave in and committed to turning it into a novel, it stopped nagging me. It’s more than a little irritating but I wouldn’t want to start a book any other way.

An article from Writer’s Digest said authors need to balance between writing for a market and writing for themselves. Okay, that makes me feel a little better but how do you do this? In the end, it’s my story, my name is on it. There are certain things I will not change, doesn’t matter what people think of them. 

On the other hand, I want to make money off my stories.

How do you create a balance between writing for a market and writing for yourself?


Anonymous · February 27, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Answer – You don't. You write what you enjoy and others will find you and enjoy it. I don't think there was a market for Harry Potter until someone wrote it and someone else read it and loved it. Limiting creativity limits the world. The world has no limits!

Nicole Pyles · February 27, 2012 at 10:18 pm

I agree with whoever posted the above comment – they really do NOT know when there will be a market for a certain book. The tragic thing is NO ONE DOES. No one REALLY knows when a book will be a hit and when it won't. In my opinion, keep up the work in writing your passion. Maybe if I was already a published author I would have to consider this, but in reality, I don't even think I would then. For me? I write for me, I also write for the reader in terms of good writing and a good story. But write for the market? Maybe later. 🙂

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