Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Can You Adapt To The Times?

When I think of adapting in the publishing industry, I often find myself thinking about the music industry. First of all, let me say I am not an expert necessarily, but I don't think I am off the mark on this one. Think of the groups that have stood the test of time. Think about the artists that never seem
to go away. U2, Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, Madonna... we can probably go on and on with this list. What do they all have in common? They have adapted.

Without changing their own unique voice and style, they have found a way to change with the times. They continue to meet the needs of the current group of listeners, in any time they are performing. Simply paying attention to the trends, they are able to sit down, think of what the population wants and how that can be incorporated into their own voice. 

Note here these groups are bringing the outside into their own voice. They aren't changing what they do and sacrificing their own voice and style. They blend the two together.

Successful writers will do the same thing. Their longevity in this business comes from not saying, "This is what I write and to hell with the change." Instead, they simply say, "This is what I write and with a few tweaks, I can meet the needs of the publishing trends."

As an agent, I am always looking for authors who have the ability to do that. You have to be able to demonstrate keeping that voice but meeting the needs of others. Success will not come from being stubborn.

If you wonder about this, go back and take a look at some of the authors who have been around since the late 70's and early 80's. Their voice is still there, even though the stories they write are vastly different in the span of all these years. 

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