Friday, May 18, 2007
To Market, To Market
How much do you consider the market before writing a book? Do you just write the book of your heart or do you weigh the pros and cons of what's selling right now?
I try to listen and read about the market, stay in tune with what's selling and who is buying new authors. I know the popular genres that are selling like hotcakes, erotica and paranormal, are two genres I couldn't write. Which is perhaps a good thing because I might be tempted to write one if I could dredge up a shred of an idea.
I think this goes back to writing as an art and writing as a business. Genre fiction is a curious mix of both and you have to marry the two to be successful. I'm writing category romance, targeting Desire. I've noticed that the authors in our chapter who started out attempting to break into the category market have branched out and are writing different things and a few have found major success. Is the category romance a dying market?
My other interest is Romantic Suspense and I've heard, mostly from agents, that this is a hard sell right now. However, Allison Brennan (www.allisonbrennan.com, blogger is behaving strangely and the link button isn't working) is a relatively new RS author and she's met with enormous success. Of course, we've all heard about the demise of the historical. But, I don't believe it. Yes, it might be harder to sell right now. But, I think in the long run that's a good thing. The new historical authors will have to be really good to sell. And that translates into better books being published. With better books, readers will flock to read them, and the author's will benefit. As long as the publisher doesn't expect her to churn out three or four a year. Some authors can maintain the quality with that type of schedule but I've found that isn't usually the case.
What about you? Are you writing the book of your heart? The hell with the market? Or, do you look around before you start a book and decide based on what's selling?