Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sometimes The Great Books Are The Hardest To Sell

I think if you talk to any agent, they can tell you several stories of amazing projects they had from their clients that never seemed to sell. No, this did not come down to the poor marketing attempts of the agent, or for that matter, the, falsely described "stingy publishers." The simple fact is the book was just a tough sell.

As agents, we often find projects that are, in our opinions, AMAZING! But, in the end, no matter how hard we try, the story gets no leverage out there and ends up sitting on a shelf just waiting for another chance to maybe come back to life.

I will be very honest, I have had these too!
  • A Time Travel to the Civil War
  • A Historical Fiction about a Spy for the North
  • A Multi-cultural women's fiction dealing with abuse and arranged marriages
  • A piece about arguing in favor of euthanasia in the afterworld
These are great stories from published authors. Editors have liked the writing and the premise, but, in the end passed on these simply because they struggled with how they could sell it. Either the issues, the timing, or the twist potentially stood in the way of the sale. Again, let me stress that all of the initial feedback on these stories came back VERY postive.

We have to remember that sometimes the stories are a bit too much in the "unique" side, or approaches a topic in a slightly different approach that it makes for that tough sale.

Now, does this mean we should stop writing these stories. NO WAY! Keep them coming. We have all said, time and time again, that in the end, this business is all about timing. You have to be in the right place, at the right time with the right project.


1 comment:

  1. Interesting post! I was both sad and glad to read this. Glad, because it reaffirms that writing quality may not be the reason for a reject. Sad, because good writing might not sell at a particular time.