1. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    The commercial thingy

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by w176, Jul 26, 2010.

    Most of us might love writing from the bottom of our hearts but we also want to be published someday. We want what we write to sell. To publishers and to readers.

    Having the goal that prefer to be published makes commercial considerations pop up when choosing how to tell what stories.

    Me I spend my time writing with a gnawing consideration that some themes and perspective I do is way to dark and way to queer for the genre, especially if I want it published in Sweden that by all means is a quite small market (9 millions)

    On the other hand, if I don't write what I really burn for I lose my main motivation of writing. That love to write and craft stories. Some commercial consideration can probably be taking during the editing stage but as of now I just write with that gnawing awareness that I never be will be the writer the writes that brave idealistic sexy heroin beats the bad guys, wins the day, gets the prince and live happily and monogamous ever after. And that probably affects my chances of getting published.

    How do you deal with "Can this sell?" aspect
     
  2. TheNewGuy
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    TheNewGuy Senior Member

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    Try posting samples of your writing online, or sharing it with friends. If they like it/would like to see more, that tells you that it could sell! Publicity doesn't hurt either.

    You should consider becoming famous before you try to sell a book. Famous people sell more books ;)

    Joking. The Internet is the new way to write. You can self-publish and sell your book on Amazon to billions (not millions) of people. Above all that, advertise. Noone will buy your book if they do not know about it.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If you write well, and write clearly, there will be a market for it. Just don't mistake clever stunts for good writing.

    Many writers starting out make the mistake of thinking they have to use unusual approaches to the writing to get noticed - like writing in second person, or telling the story in reverse chronological order, or telling the story from the perspective of someone who has no idea what is going on.

    Stick to good storytelling, ad put your effort into clean natrrative and good character development. Maybe someday you will be good enough at writing that you can use an unusual approach, but don't ever try it for your first novel.

    Writing in a straightforward way is not only good commercialism, it's how you learn to master the craft, by not trying to hide a lack of experience behind a curtain of tricks and stunts.
     
  4. Ron Aberdeen
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    Ron Aberdeen Banned

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    I write screenplays and have not been seduced down the novelist’s path but I can share my experience as a screenwriter and I am sure there will be areas of similarity.

    Who are you, what do you have to sell, is it worth reading, do you have a glowing critique from somebody in the industry, could it be made for an attainable budget, do you know anyone in the business, how do you approach the industry, do you have style, elegance and most importantly is your script any good?

    Not based on your judgement or that of friends and relatives but people who really know what works.

    And of course you have been trying for at least a couple of years, had several attempts at writing a great compelling screenplay and not expecting to break in with your first attempt.

    With over 80,000 new screenplays registered just in the US last year and Hollywood reducing the number of movies it makes each year, (below 300 last year) and over half of the Indy movie market of less than a couple of thousand movies based on at least half the screenplays written by the director, the producer or as a commission, of course it is tough.

    Having a great logline and an outstanding synopsis are just the knock on the door, when the door opens you need a script that is breathtaking, perfectly presented, correctly formatted, with a really original premise, the likes of which have never been seen before.

    That’s not counting an obvious theme presented through exciting larger than life characters with memorable dialogue in intriguing situations that all add up to a ‘can’t put down’ unbelievably entertaining document.

    And when you get your script to somebody who loves it, takes to you as an individual, (you can’t believe how important that is in the industry) a person who wants to produce it, prepare yourself for the time it takes to go from paper to screen.

    Add to that the growing number of projects that don’t get made and the growing number that do but never get distribution, thinking it is tough to break in will seem like kindergarten.

    Welcome to the real world, everything up to now has been a fantasy; only when you have written something does your journey begin.
     
  5. OvershadowedGuy
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    OvershadowedGuy Member

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    It pays to know people as well. Try to befriend Stephanie Meyer or at the very least Dean Koontz...

    If that doesn't work take your extremely well written/undeniably original/and edge-of-your-seat exciting manuscript to a writing convention and befriend an agent...
     
  6. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    It depresses me sometimes to think that anything I've had accepted has been after pulling strings with people I know to get past the first readers. I console myself, though, by thinking that if the editor didn't like it, it still wouldn't get accepted. It's a good idea to visit book fairs and conventions and network generally to meet people. I think people underestimate the amount of energy that has to be put into self-promotion.
     
  7. OvershadowedGuy
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    OvershadowedGuy Member

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    A hugely over-looked word in self-promotion is self. An editor or agent is sizing you up the same as your book. Be confident in yourself, and excited about your work.
     
  8. izanobu
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    izanobu Senior Member

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    My advice is to not worry about the saleability of something until you're done with it. If you worry to much while writing you'll just stop yourself up and kill the creative process.

    Write the books you want to write. THEN figure out where to sell them :)
     
  9. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am not published yet and I am quite pessimistic about my chances of ever getting published. Right now, I just tell the story that comes to me. It is what it is. IDK if publishing is in my future or not. I just can't worry about telling people a story they wanna hear that I don't care to tell just so I can get published. If I can't get published for what I do, I guess I'll need a different career choice.
     
  10. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Most writers, I think, write novels that they would like to find on the shelf (if they hadn't written them themselves) and the same with short stories.

    There are things to consider that will make it more difficult to sell a work: Writing in second person, for example, is difficult to do and can turn off editors and agents pretty quickly. Writing a novella length work will mean that there are fewer markets available, as opposed to novel length or a short story length work.

    As was said, there are markets for most things one can imagine and write. They may be niche markets as opposed to 'mainstream' markets.

    Part of the struggle is to actually finish a work, get it into shape to submit and actually submit it (and keep doing it until it finds a home). That is more difficult if you're writing something you're not really interested in. With a novel, for example, you will spend many hours researching and writing the first draft, and then there is the revision and editing process, where you will be reading and rereading and rereading the work. If you are bored or not really interested in the novel (its theme, contents, characters, plot, etc.) this will be a very difficult task, one I suspect you would come to dread.

    Maybe there is a balance between writing what you really want to and writing with an eye toward publication--but in the scale's balance, I'd lean more toward writing what you want/you're interested in.

    Good luck moving forward.

    Terry
     
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  11. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like thinking and just the commercial side of writing is so much more prominent then when it comes to art.

    In writing almost all your ambitious works are aimed at publication, in art you might paint on order, paint whatever you like just hoping that the piece might sell, or that you just draw and decided to sell it in the further and so on, or not at al have in mind selling it at any stage. In art the whole scale of selling/doing it for fun exist all the time, when when it comes to writing longer works it almost, with few exceptions is aimed at being published.

    It fascinating how this fact creeps in and affects you thinking.
     
  12. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    It's not really surprising when you consider the differences between selling a book and selling a painting. No one writes a novel in the hopes that one person will keep it forever, they write with the hope that a wide variety of people will buy their work and read it. With a work of fine art, the value of the work, its scarcity, depends on there only being a limited, fixed number of versions of the work that will be owned privately and individually. So, when you're painting, you only need to convince one person that your work is worth buying for it to be a success. If a book, on the other hand, sold only a single copy, it would be deemed totally unsuccessful.
     
  13. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yea. I completely agree with your reasoning. And so on.

    It just interesting to see how having this always present "this must sell" whisper in you ear make the activity itself different of writing a song, painting something, sewing or crafting something awesome etc.

    How it for good and bad shift you focus when working on it.
     
  14. Taylor3
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    Taylor3 Member

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    ^^^
    ha I think you need to follow the advice in your sig.
     

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