We've gotten into a discussion on one of my groups about formulaic writing for the market. So, my question is; as an author, is this something that you would consider doing, simply to get your books in print and your name out there?
Personally, for me, the answer is no. I can't see the wisdom of writing for the market. Why? Look at it this way, say I finish my Vampire novel and get a contract for it. Okay, great, vampire novels are big right now. But, my contract specifically states that the release date for my book will be late summer of 2009. Okay, great, I have an almost three year wait for my book to be released.
Comes late summer of 2009 and the market has changed at least three times, and guess what, vampires are out, werewolves are in. So, I waited three years for a book to be released that most likely won't sell a sozen copies. So, why write for the market?
It's a good idea IF you can get your book out there in a timely fashion while your subject matter is still hot, but given the time frame of the NY publishing houses, timeliness is not going to be factor.
So, what do you? Self publish? Oh no, I mean why attach that stigma to your work? Why indeed. Because at least you get your book on the shelf while your subject matter is still hot, and hot generally equals sales, right? Right! Even if you go the vanity press route, you have a book out there that fits very nicely with the market and you're going to get sales, regardless of who published it.
I mean really, for the most part, readers could care less who the publisher of a book is as long as the book is a good read. So, that so called stigma that has firmly attached itself to self-publishing is really imaginary.
The only real problem with self-publishing is that ridiculous no return policy, and some of the better vanity presses have deleted their no return policy in order to generate more sales.
If you insist on being a market writer, then in order to keep up with the current trends, why wouldn't vanity presses be the chosen route? I don't get it.
For a long time I was firmly against self-publishing, because in my mind, an author who self published just wasn't good enough hot be picked up by a major house. That was my feeling, but I have since learned that is not always the case.
A couple of cases in point, Natalie R Collins and James Conroyd Martin, both vanity press published and both picked up by a major house, with the same vanity press published books! And why? Because they were that damn good.
And there are other authors of note, nameable Janet Elaine Smith, who have chosen to reject that NY contract in favor of maintaining control over their work and not signing it away to a major house.
Janet has upwards of twenty books she has self published, and been offered contracts for a few of them, but she's turned them down because she wants to hold the rights to her work, and lets face it, who among us does not?
So, having totally veered off course here, I just wonder if writing strictly for the market is the best way to go? What are your thoughts?
Have a great day!