Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Things Change

Are you a blogger/aspiring writer still struggling to get published? Awesome. My post isn't for you today. Read it anyhow. One day this might be you.
Today I'm talking about the old writer's mentality versus the new writer's mentality.
Old writers have a lot of experience. They've probably had their share of failures. They may have even had their share of successes. That's great. That's the goal. But if you've been writing longer than 5 years there is a good chance you came up under a different publishing model. You may have sent your work to an agent who sold it to an editor. Or you may have met an editor at a conference, queried directly and been published.
It still works that way. Sometimes. Or you self publish. Or you self publish until someone queries you. Or you self publish until someone queries you then self publish ebooks while traditionally publishing print for distribution. Or you self publish one genre while traditionally publishing another genre.
Here's the point: things don't work the way they used to.
Before your publisher promoted you. Readers took their cues from publishers and critics.
Today, publishers largely take their cues from reader. NA wasn't a thing. It blew up on Amazon. And for a while after that everyone in New York would still tell you it wasn't a thing. Till they started paying for it.
Lots of people in the blogosphere have been talking about clean romance since 2012 when 50 Shades of Gray came out and all of romance took a turn for the explicit side. And publishers have taken their cue from us. According to K-Lytics, Amazon just added a new sub-genre "clean and wholesome romance" (and I shifted the Marlowe Girls as soon as I woke up--that's the power of being indie). Harlequin put out a submission call for clean romance less than a month ago.
The point is writer's today can't ignore a subgenre or trend on Amazon because it's "reader only" or "only on Amazon." Publishers don't set the rules anymore. Readers do. When you're doing a market analysis, you're not looking for a set of expectations from a publisher. You're looking for what is acceptable to readers. You can't wait for a traditional publisher to catch on, to change your roll. (I mean, I guess you could but what did you lose in the process)?
And if you think about it what our readers thought probably should have always came before what our publisher thought. Except there was a middle man. The middle man is all but gone, and when he's there he's a puppet. He's hoping to package a book in turn for a profit. Nothing is wrong with packaging a book for a profit. But publishers aren't running things. You live in the New World Order of Publishing.

Okay. Off my soap box.

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