Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Why Do You Have All Of Those Rejections?

I was reading an article from an author who was going on and on about all of the great things in self-publishing. This post, however, is not about the whole traditional versus self-publishing argument. It is about the reason this author turned to self-publishing.

This author described her experience with trying to get an editor or agent to look at her story. In the entire time she was marketing the project, supposedly she only received on request for a partial. She went on to note that she did get an agent to sign on with the book, but in the end, the agent just couldn't sell the book. On the surface, this sounds like the normal thing we hear from so many authors. But you have to dig a bit deeper with the story to know why this book didn't sell.

Please note, I am going to keep things a bit vague here so as to not make this about the author. I want to focus on the project.

This was a paranormal book involving obscure characters out of mythology. This book was really large, had an extremely complicated plot line and took the characters in directions that people wouldn't normally associate with the characters (for example taking Snow White and turning her into a paranormal prostitute serial killer).

What this author faced with a product that was simply not marketable. Because the author took such a different and unique approach to the story, it was simply not something anyone was going to buy. The lack of success this author had was not a result of the system being unwilling to look at different projects, but the fact that the story was not going to work in the market.

I talk about this all of the time when I work with writers. Before you even start working on a project, you have to do some market research. Is this a product that will sell out there. Will people really want to buy this?

I think I mentioned this before, but I talked to an author who was trying to sell a biography of her mother. The mother was a great person, but she had really done nothing special. She just grew up during the depression. The author believed this was a great story and well written. While it might be, this was a product that the general public would not buy. The story was destined to fail from the beginning.

If your story is not selling, writers need to begin first with the actual story. You might have enjoyed writing the darn thing, but if there isn't a place out there on the physical or virtual bookshelves for it, this might be the reason the rejections are flowing in. You cannot blame the system.

And I guess I should add one final note. Because the system is not buying your story, this is not a justifiable reason to go shoving the book in the self-publishing market.

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