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Write What You Know, or Write What Sells?

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by neodoering, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. oenanthe

    oenanthe Minstrel

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    I comped Sherlock Holmes and FullMetal Alchemist for a fantasy novel, so don't follow my example. But my comps were what caught the eye of my agent.
     
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  2. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    That sounds more like an X meets Y comparison of movie pitches than the "readers of such and such should enjoy my novel" comparison. Both are functional, but the latter addresses a market more directly, while the former addresses story and perhaps atmosphere.

    When it comes to queries, it's a whatever works situation, heh heh.
     
  3. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Archmage

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    Those are some cool comps for a fantasy novel. :) I can understand why they would catch the agent's eye. They speak to the specific market your novel would appeal to within the broad fantasy genre.

    Agree with Demesnedenoir's observations too.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
  4. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    The movie pitch I always wanted to make was "Debbie Does Dallas meets the Island of Misfit Toys" heh heh. It writes itself, don't it? LOL.
     
  5. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    Step One: Write only what interests you personally, without regard to the market.

    Step Two: Sell your creation by comparing it to prominent market successes.

    Heh.

    Really though, I wonder to what degree we, as consumers, have already had our own personal tastes shaped by the market.

    ^Different question than a consideration of current trends. But from anecdotal evidence re: movies and television at least, nostalgia itself seems to be a big trend these days, heh.
     
  6. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    Maybe if a writer has mainstream tastes this approach might work, but it's not the reality for a lot of other writers. I belong to 2 Indie author groups and frequent an Indie author forum—many authors have a hard time placing their books in the proper categories and marketing to the right audience because they didn't take the market itself into consideration before writing. It's not only discouraging to not sell (which, btw just requires a massive amount of patience and long-term thinking), but readers like the same stories over and over again told in a different way. Yes. They do.

    I'm sorry, but one thing that bugs me about these sorts of discussions are writers who aren't in the publishing business giving others advice about publishing and marketing. A lot of times it's the wrong advice, because they don't know the other million tiny details necessary to sell a novel. It's different than sitting down and typing.
     
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  7. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    Eh, that Step One and Step Two comment was just a little commentary inspired by the last handful of comments before it.

    I found the idea of "doing your own thing" and having the product of your efforts happen to be comparable to market successes...intriguing.


     
  8. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    Lol Fifthview, I wasn't targeting you at all. Your comment triggered my memory of something I've been wanting to say but kept forgetting. :D
     
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  9. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Archmage

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    The thing is, we don't always know who in a discussion has publishing experience and who hasn't. I have. I made a go of it as an indie publisher for a year. Had an LLC for it. Published one anthology and was well on the way to publishing the second (had accepted and paid for stories) before I determined that my business model wasn't going to work. I lost some money, and got out of the business before I lost a lot more, but I learned something from the attempt. I know there's much more that goes into publishing than the writing stories.

    You want to know why there aren't more paying short story markets? It's not because there's no one interested in reading short stories. It has as much to do with how difficult it is for a new publisher to land on the right business model and then build a reputation and a brand, while staying afloat long enough to earn a reputation and build a brand. And those who make it...I understand why they are very particular about what stories they purchase. The stories must fit the brand, or they diminish the brand.

    Have I sold or published a novel? No. But I do have publishing experience that relates, and a perspective that someone who has only published their own stuff doesn't have.
     
  10. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    It's pretty easy to know when someone hasn't published anything at all whether it be an anthology or Indie or whatever. I don't give people traditionally published advice because I have none, but I can help with basic Indie things. So, I'm specifically referring to a newbie writer who has never finished a book in their life, or even published to any market, giving others advice on how to gain traction in an audience. Because that's what it comes down to, is audience building. That looks differently for any writer who even wishes to gain an audience. Not every writer cares. But authors do because they publish.

    I don't understand why I constantly have to explain myself around here. I wasn't singling anyone out. Just making an observation of something that bugs me. Geesh.

    Also, it's still the same market of readers any author is striving to make contact with. Whether it's via traditional or Indie, you're still trying to reach readers who read the book you wrote. Advice on how to make it in traditional will differ from Indie; but really, a reader finds the book either on Amazon or any other outlet that both publishing avenues provide.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2017
  11. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Archmage

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    And now we know something else that bugs you, eh? :)
     
  12. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    Lol true true!
     
  13. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    This thread has been moved from Writing Questions to the Marketing Forum.
     
  14. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    I completely agree with you. i think chasing the market is a fool's game and a waste of time.

    However you can craft your writing with your audience in mind.
     
  15. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    Could not agree more. The internet in general encourages this. People are happy to spout off about anything that strikes their fancy without knowing the first thing about it. It is a unhelpful and in fact destructive trend. IT happens here and plenty of other places.
     
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