Last Friday, I posted about some recent market thoughts I've been having.
A huge Thank You to everyone who took the time to come over and weigh in. It was one of my all time favorite discussions.
I found myself thinking that I really, really wanted to just write whatever I wanted, from the heart and not worry about market placement or sales opportunities.
What I am learning from recent experience with my agent and some editors is that
while it would be nice, it is not always practical.
Please Don't Misunderstand: I am NOT talking about following trends. I am NOT talking about giving up your own voice in a story to conform. I am not talking about boy wizards or vampire love triangles (though those are wonderful and fun stories)
What I'm saying is this: If we want to be published through a mainstream, national publisher, we can't ignore the market.
Case in point: As said, I love writing historical fiction. Historical Americana Fiction, to be exact. I will continue to tuck those story ideas aside for the future, but I can't ignore that a more contemporary piece will sell better, faster and to a wider audience in today's market.
Three Major Points I'd like Us To Consider:
1. My agent goes to Bologna each year to market the international rights of his clients. He recently sold a client's book to Poland. Yes, Poland!! Do you see that there are possibilities for our writing that we may have never imagined?
2. Never, never forget that this is a business for agents and editors. Sure, they love what they do, love books and all things literary....but their acquisition decisions matter professionally. Most are employees. They have superiors that they may have to justify their decisions to.
3. If certain publishing houses used to put out 20 books a year, they are now putting out more like 15. These houses are paying closer attention than ever to what exactly is selling and making sure every decision has the most potential of profit.
Being aware of this is not a compromise of my creativity.
It is just seeing what we do as a comprehensive profession instead of simply artistic expression.
My first and natural thought was: I can only write what I write. But is that entirely true? Why couldn't I write a fun middle grade story set in today's time frame? Wouldn't I love that just as much? I'm thinking a great mystery with a little history thrown in here and there (like when I put zucchini in my kids chicken casserole without them knowing it...hehehehe)
FYI: With A Name Like Love is not being set aside. It is still going through submissions and my agent said he loves it and is confident it will sell. He also suggested my next WIP be a bit more contemporary. I am learning that being an author is all about working as a team with your agent/editors and all about being flexible.
Questions: Have you ever even considered the possibility of having your book be sold to another country like Poland, Spain, Italy? Do you think we, as authors, can find a way to honor our writing and still be flexible to the suggestions given us by agents/editors? Do you think there is any truth to what I am saying or am I just being blasphemous?