Saturday, February 6, 2016

Writing to the Market Is Not My Super Power

One of my 3 SFR Galaxy Award winning titles
I’m the wrong person to address the issue of writing to market, because I don’t.  Since I’m independently published, I write what I’m in the mood to write and as my own nimble small business, I can get away with that. I have loyal readers who love science fiction romance or ancient Egypt, or both.  My stories fall into niche markets with goodly amounts of readers, but probably not enough at the moment for major publishers to pursue.

Although as an aside, the SFR Galaxy Awards were just announced and I wrote a post for USA Today Happily Ever After, where I asked this year’s winners for their views on the future of SFR. Nearly everyone said it’s on a growth curve, which – YAY! I would tend to agree with that assessment and I’m happy because I love the genre and I love writing in the genre.

This week, other Whores have already thrashed out the issues traditional publishers face trying to bring books to the market while that market is still hot and growing, versus being latecomers. Life was probably easier when it was ALL about the traditional publishing business and if they didn’t put the books out there, you couldn’t read in your favorite niche.

The other issue for me would be, even if I had a crystal ball and could foretell the future, it’s probably not going to be something I want to write. I might love to read it and put every book that comes out onto my poor kindle, but my Muse is finicky. Everything falls from my mind onto the page with a science fiction twist, or fantastical elements. I have notes somewhere on a Regency romance, because I would so love to write one of those, but once I get beyond the governess and the Duke and either a house party or a snowbound inn, I’m out of inspiration. The. Words. Do. Not. Flow. And maybe at that point I go off and reread my favorite Mary Balogh book.

Someone I respect, who is a longtime participant in the publishing world, recently pointed out the popularity of the Hamilton Broadway musical and wondered if that might mean romances set in the Revolutionary era would make a comeback. Hmmm, I said to myself, good point! But yet, no plots come to my mind. (The “Swamp Fox” theme song from the old Disney show comes to mind, which isn’t particularly helpful.)

The other thing for me, is that if I’m writing something I don’t have genuine enthusiasm for, it doesn’t flow and it doesn’t read as well as my normal prose (at least in my opinion). So I’m lucky to be writing in  time where “the market” can exist without me and vice versa.

Leaving you with an excellent little clip from "Hamilton":

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