FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagramTumblrGoogleYouTube
 
 
RSS Feed Print
Do you consider the market when choosing a project?
LilySea
Posted: Saturday, December 3, 2011 2:42 PM
Joined: 5/12/2011
Posts: 241


Lately, I've found myself in a few conversations with writers in which I will explain that in deciding which of several possible projects to start next, I considered market conditions and chose the one that suited them best. The other writer will say, "oh I can't think like that, I have to follow my heart/muse and let the market sort itself."

I don't find these two things to be mutually exclusive, but I take it some do.

What about you?

Kevin Haggerty
Posted: Saturday, December 3, 2011 4:33 PM
Joined: 3/17/2011
Posts: 90


Hey Shannon,

I think it's crucially important not to overthink creativity.  I think you need to allow for the possibility that your muse knows better what's going to be trending in the year or two from now when your book is finished than you do.  You have to admit that it's possible, and in my personal experience, it's the rule rather than the exception. 

Also, judging the market often looks more like riding the coattails of current trends; by the time your book is done, the market may very well be saturated with what you thought was gonna be your ticket to the big time.  And then where will you be?

A good friend of mine wrote a book a few years ago.  I'd call it a queer YA paranormal coming of age type o' deal.  When he finished it, somewhere back in '05 (I think) at the height of the Bush admin. and all that that implies, the book got absolutely nowhere in the querrying process.  Now, I see that he was just a few years ahead of the rest of the world.  I'm telling him now that he needs to get querrying asap.  Luckily, he wrote the book, rather than second guess the market at the time.

I think if we're gonna play the what shall I work on now game, it's much, much better to think in terms of what does the market *need*, what does the *world* need, than what does the market *want*.  As artists, it's much closer to our purpose to look at the world and decide what story needs to be told than to look out at the world and decide how best to pander to its transient desires. 

Consern for what the market likes and doesn't like properly belongs to the time when you're ready to market your book, not the moment when you decide what to ask your muse to put her heart and soul into.

-Kevin


LilySea
Posted: Saturday, December 3, 2011 6:00 PM
Joined: 5/12/2011
Posts: 241


Ah--but I said what "suits" market conditions. I didn't say "follow trends."

I am not talking about writing another teen romantic triangle between faeries and vampires and girls-next-door. Because given the length of time it takes to get a book to market, no doubt the world will be sick of those by the time my next book hits a store.

I'm talking about things like this:

I had about four projects in which I personally had an equal interest. Then I thought about everything I know about how agents and editors think of book possibilities. I know they don't like debut books to be too long. I know that YA is selling in the black whereas other categories are flat or in the red. I know that refreshingly new, but not overly risky is the sweet spot agents and editors are looking for. I have a certain book out there among agents now and if it sells, I know which of the four possibilities will make for a good second book of my career. I have a sense that if it doesn't sell, that same project would also still be a good debut book. So I pick that one.

I've still got three stories I want to tell, sitting on the back burner, but if I have to pick one, I'll pick the most marketable.

That's the kind of thing I mean.


Michael R Underwood
Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 9:43 AM
Joined: 3/3/2011
Posts: 74


I think that if you are equally excited or prepared for several projects, and one of them seems to be in a stronger category, it's reasonable to write to that category.  You can't predict where trends will be in two years, but you can give yourself a better chance by writing your Urban Fantasy or Cozy Mystery and waiting on your Polyamorous Paranormal Thriller Erotica inspired by Polynesian Mythology and set in the world of Air Conditioner Repair.
LilySea
Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 1:34 PM
Joined: 5/12/2011
Posts: 241


A/C repair!!!! I LOVE A/C repair settings. So romantic.

LilySea
Posted: Thursday, January 19, 2012 12:23 PM
Joined: 5/12/2011
Posts: 241


I wrote about this at greater length on one of my blogs today:
http://shannonlccate.com/2012/01/19/do-you-write-for-the-market/


Alexander Hollins
Posted: Thursday, January 19, 2012 1:22 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 416


I don't see a point to following market conditions unless you can crank out a completed manuscript in a month or so. Otherwise, going through standard publishing channels, by the time the book actually sees print, the trend will probably have lost popularity.

LilySea
Posted: Thursday, January 19, 2012 2:02 PM
Joined: 5/12/2011
Posts: 241


I'm not really talking about trends. I'm talking about more general things, like putting something in a recognizable category, writing YA instead of adult because YA is growing and adult is flat, NOT writing something that hasn't really been very popular over the long haul, etc.

Alexander Hollins
Posted: Thursday, January 19, 2012 4:03 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 416


That... would be trends!

LilySea
Posted: Thursday, January 19, 2012 4:10 PM
Joined: 5/12/2011
Posts: 241


Well, but longer range trends, as opposed, say, to writing a "teen paranormal romance" because several have sold well in the past few years. That kind of thing seems more fleeting to me, whereas larger categories of what agents and editors are looking for seem reasonable enough.

Alexander Hollins
Posted: Thursday, January 19, 2012 5:10 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 416


The thing is, no matter how "long term" your trend is, they can change on a dime!  I would personally write what I like, and should it match current market, awesome. If not, one day it might!  And, reading some publisher editor blogs over the last few years, what they are looking for when mining the pile can change daily.

LilySea
Posted: Thursday, January 19, 2012 7:14 PM
Joined: 5/12/2011
Posts: 241


I guess my point is that writing what I like and writing something more likely to get interest from the publishing world need not be mutually exclusive.


MariAdkins
Posted: Monday, August 6, 2012 9:53 PM
I don't write for market. I just write.

 

Jump to different Forum...