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How Do You Decide What To Write/market?


zx1ninja

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Okay, I've written a book, (actually 4 based around the same idea/characters.). But after being here a while I see most have several different subjet books going, sometimes at the same time. 

 

So I started to wonder, did you have the story idea first and plan to market after. Or did you find a market first and then the story idea written to the market?

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The smart bet is the market driven approach.

 

Except that function is sporadically and unaccountably disabled in most writers except for the successful ones.  

 

My first publisher told me this- go to your favorite bookstore, locate your favorite genre section, the locate your favorite authors (no more than 3), then write a book that presents those themes, character types and tropes that most resonated with you in those selected samples.

 

Then, as the clever people say, rinse and repeat.

 

For myself, I'm still growing into that!:)

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Every reader is looking for that fresh, unique, new, dazzling plot/character etc that only you can write. Your imagination is your value. Write the story first.  Vomit it into the computer/onto the paper.   

Every publisher is looking for what sells.  Your sales are your authority. Therefore:

On 2/19/2018 at 11:59 AM, suspensewriter said:

My first publisher told me this- go to your favorite bookstore, locate your favorite genre section, the locate your favorite authors (no more than 3), then write a book that presents those themes, character types and tropes that most resonated with you in those selected samples.

Thus you gain sales and authority to do the new thing.  That is when you reveal the book you intended all along. It's not the private who gives the orders, but the general.  Or, to follow our present meme,  The new gun in town needs to shoot some rowdy buzzards before he gets a stool in the saloon.  

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On 2/19/2018 at 1:32 PM, zx1ninja said:

So I started to wonder, did you have the story idea first and plan to market after. Or did you find a market first and then the story idea written to the market?

For me it's been a combo. I chose what main genre I wanted and dove right into blogging and building an online presence. I've got an eBook self-published and even got a manuscript to committee with the major publisher in my field a few years back. 

Within those limits though, I've been exploring different angles to see what people are actively looking for. It's like a Venn diagram. Where my passions and the market's desires intersect, that's where I choose to focus my attention. Sometimes that means trying things that will end up fizzling, but if you're in the circle you want to end up in anyway, the skills you pick up on the way will make shining in that sweet spot easier. 

I'm dying to tell you all how true this is for me, but that's still up to the marketing committee again. 

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10 minutes ago, Nicholas Reicher said:

That's because Heinlein passed away.

 

That's true - add Zelazny, Jack Vance, and others. They wrote thought-provoking, lyrical stories which weren't poorly disguised agit-prop, real stories of imagination and humor and wonder.

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Let me remind you of Sturgeon's Law:

 

Someone asserted to Theodore Sturgeon that 90 percent of science fiction is... how shall I put this on a family-friendly site?... crap.

"90 percent of everything is crap," he replied.

 

Still, it's quite rare for me to check out a book from the library that I can't finish. I assume that may be due to whatever committee is vetting the library's purchases.

 

Write for a market? When it takes six months to a year to get a book in print?

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I wait for an idea to fall out of the sky and hit me in the head. Then I write it. And then I hope other people will like it. So far, I've gotten some very enthusiastic reviews, but I've not sold large numbers of books. Either I have a very small niche audience, or I just can't be heard above all the noise. And the day I start sounding like everybody else is the day I will throw in the towel. Seriously - who wants to be the same as everybody else?

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Preaching to the choir, sister.

 

It's usually an image. Like a girl swinging through a corridor like a Tarzan movie. Or a black kid pretending to rummage through ice-covered blueberry bushes to find a key he knows isn't there. Or a Japanese sleep cubicle, waking up in a damp diaper and no visible exit. Or a huge arena with a child's drawing projected on the roof for a sky, people flying like Icarus above Amish farms.

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4 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

 

Yes.  You're a good writer, Z, and you deserve to get paid.  

Thank you for saying that SW. But if anything I write only pays for itself, (editing/publishing cost's), I'd consider that to be a landslide success with nothing the expected goal.

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3 hours ago, zx1ninja said:

Thank you for saying that SW. But if anything I write only pays for itself, (editing/publishing cost's), I'd consider that to be a landslide success with nothing the expected goal.

 

7 minutes ago, Nicola said:

Here! Here!  Keep at it.  The rest of us want to ride your coat tails. 

 

Yes, Z!  Invite us all to your first book launch party!

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LOL I promise to invite you. :D

 

But as far apart as some of us live, I'm not so sure it's feasible. :oops: I suppose a free copy would be in order though. :cool:

 

Besides, I think you and Nichola are better SW. I've learned so much from both of you and everyone else here. 

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