this topic resonates with me as my story moves outside the genre at times and with the paranoia of printers wanting same old to a dedicated audience it is a concern
There was a discussion in the Welcome thread.
I'm worried about the marketability of my work as well. As I write, I worry about the story and what makes the most sense for that particular story. There's a core sentiment or tone I strive for, and my head is filled with it. When I have a moment to sit back and consider the story from the outside, I wonder who the heck would read it or publish it.
Writing is communication, and writing too weird can exclude many readers. I'm trying to find a balance, but it's hard.
Publishers need to make a profit or they go out of business, so I can't say I fault them for doing what they believe works. Every book by a new author is a gamble. Having self-publishing as an option does ease some of my worries. If every editor hates my stories, I can do an e-collection for and hope at least a dozen people read it. It's a relief to know there are options nowadays.
The thing about envelope pushing is this: You can get on with it, do what you do best, or you can mess about worrying and be just another part of flock. You know? If you have an out there idea, for God's sake write it. There is no real worth to me in settling with the same old.
However I'm not a forcer. I haven't had a proper out there idea yet, well, not yet really, but I'm not going to worry either way. Some of the greatest stories of our time did incredibly poorly in their eras, some did alright but people didn't get it. yet eventually these are the books and authors thousands of new writers are imitating today. These are the authors who can be credited with making something truly new. If you worry about whether people will like it, and subsequently compromise, you almost certainly will be behind the curve.
The trick to good tale telling is this; Write something that resonates with humanity and if you've don't your job wll no matter how much Weird it's couched in you'll be onto a winner.
If making decent money off writing is all that matters at the end of the day theeen ... go write some Mills & Boon.
hhahah yes mills and boons and Barbara Cartland, yes selling yourself is the first principle as reading wheel of time 13 any rubbish can be published and sold, but like you say how do we step back and determine "is it good"
how much do publishers want clones of the basics and perpetuate a climate of ordinary as well?
Problem with e-publishing is there is no editing standard so your stuff is lumped with everything and how do you rise above the ordinary/
I have one e-book self published and it is not superbly well written book, in retrospect, I have re written for publishing but I have about 3000 free downloads, which finding a needle in the million published hay stack is not so bad I suppose
I look at film and refuse to watch Titanic but millions do, same as avatr thought it crap so million don't how do we find the 1 million who wil love our books
as it was rightfully said many books only take off after their sell by date, I wonder how popular lord of the rings would be if there were not hundred s of copies on every bookshelf in the book store, - out of site / out of mind, many reall good authors just fall by the way because the covers and formats are not reinvented for the new audiences
the day of the triffids for instance beautiful book
I think you'd find it hard to find a publish who didn't want to do something different. That fact is if something is selling you invariably have to push it till it can't coff up any more money. There are a few out there I'm sure who would be willing to go out on a limb (eg, the kind of publisher who published the great books of our time), but all in all the least risky stagem for publishers is to still the market where they want it to be with slight differences in each new product they sell.
Although I can't help but wonder how much knowing people helps
Look for the market. What I mean is look for the person selling the most mainstream Weird fiction that you can think of, and see what they are doing, most importantly judge the kind of people they are selling TO. For me this would probably have to be Mieville, the gate way drug of Weird fiction dare I say. How does he do it (despite being a genius and a professor of Creative Writing)?
We can only learn where we fit from the example of others.
My name is Jamber (well, here it is, anyway), and I'm a published author, but not with fantasy. I'm very much at the drawing board level of fantasy writing, but have been involved in writing my whole life as both an editor, mentor and author.
I hope I'm in the right place -- mainstream fantasy doesn't appeal to me much, particularly 'feminine' fantasy. I like material that bends or breaks rules (always with a purpose though).
I'm so glad I found a 'weird' group, and I hope we can chat about our WIPs.