Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Three Questions


Paula asks (and answers) three questions!

Firstly: A couple of weeks ago, someone on FB was asking why the sales of her books were so low. Okay, I know, it’s a question many of us could ask! One of the replies suggested that she should look at the bestselling books on Amazon, and aim to write something similar to those.
My reaction: unless she’s a very fast writer, the ‘popular’ trends might have completely changed by the time her book is actually published, because people soon tire of the same kind of novel. Personally I go into ‘yawn mode’ when I see yet more books about ‘cosy cafes’ or, here in the UK at present, stories set in Cornwall (I blame Poldark for that!), and I’m not into ‘psychological thrillers.’ Yes, these may be current trends, but how long do these kinds of trends last?

Secondly, another author (again on FB) declared that she had read and enjoyed books about the music scene when she was a teenager, so decided to write her own series. This same author then said she’d enjoyed books by another author set in her own city, and so she decided to – yes, you’ve guessed it, write her own series set in that same city.
My reaction? Don’t you have any original ideas of your own, without having to ‘duplicate’ what other authors have written about?

Thirdly, yet another author declared that ‘if you like books by x, y, and z, you will love my book.’
My reaction: for one thing, it comes over as incredibly conceited to ‘compare’ yourself to bestselling authors. Also, if you need to ‘compare’ yourself to other writers, it doesn’t say much for your own originality.

So, what do we do? Follow the trends (albeit belatedly), write to a theme that has been successful for another author in the hope that it will be as successful for you, or try to gain readers by likening yourself to other authors?
My reaction: I couldn’t do any of these things. Or rather, yes, I probably could, but I wouldn’t want to. I can’t write to a ‘trend’ or a ‘theme’, and I certainly don’t try to imitate any other writer.

Maybe my novels don’t sell as well as stories about ‘cosy caf├ęs in Cornwall’ are selling; maybe I’ll never reach the top ranks on Amazon; but I write the stories that I want to write, and I write them in my own style.


11 comments:

  1. I think there's a place for all kinds of authors, covering all kinds of themes and styles. And hey, if "dinosaur sex romance" can sell, ours can, too! Stick to what you enjoy writing and don't worry about trends or what other people are doing.

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    1. Exactly! That's why I didn't like the advice given in the first example about trying to follow current trends. It's not long since steampunk and shifters were all the rage, but I haven't seen many of those recently!

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    2. Wait. Are there really stories out there about dinosaur sex romance?!?!?

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    3. Yep, I've seen them advertised on FB! Crazy, huh?

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    4. Apparently so. I've been afraid to investigate because once you see something you can't unsee it, but...

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  2. I agree with Jen. We need to write OUR stories. Trends are impossible to predict and tend to come and go way too quickly. Trends are all about luck and what people want in a specific moment in time.

    Just as our interests vary, readers do too. There's always some who will connect with the stories we write. Others won't.

    There's so much to choose from out there...I say add your own stories and ideas to the mix...don't try to copy someone else's.

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    1. Agree! I was actually shocked when I saw the 'advice' being given on FB. But it seems some writers DO try to follow trends or other success stories. Meanwhile, I live in hope that maybe #Ireland will become a trend LOL!

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  3. I think many authors try to hitch onto themes of the moment.
    I'll never know if that is a good idea.
    I have too many stories of my own to write.

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    1. Your own stories are the best ones to write, regardless of all the trends, because you write them from the heart :-)

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  4. Whilst I understand that the 'on trend' novels sell. I presume (hopefully) that publishers are always looking for the next new trend. Maybe it will be Ireland!

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    1. No one can predict what the next popular trend will be - but I live in hope! :-D

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