Monday, April 9, 2018

Sometimes Normal Is Better

When I first saw one of my Greyhaus authors, I immediately fell in love with her work. Why was it? She was writing outside of the box. She had all of the similar voices of her genre, but the twists and turns she took with the story made it a completely refreshing read. She had all of the standard tropes, but her twist on the story really made it unique. I loved it. The editors who read her stories loved it. But in the end, the stories simply could not be sold. Why?

Because the stories WERE different.

I know that I will say time and time again to be different and not copy what is out there, and I am still going to stick to that concept. We don't want carbon copies of stories already out there. However, there are times when you story is so different, that it is simply going to be a tough sell.

You have to understand that agents and editors, when they take on your projects, are taking on risks. They at gambling on whether or not your story is going to sell. We all wish we could see into the future and know the success of your story, but that is simply not possible. We really don't know what the market will be like when your story hits the shelves.

With this particular author, her editors took a gamble on an approach. At the time, it sounded like a great approach and all of us were on board with the idea. In the end, the sales were simply not there. It had nothing to do with the marketing of the books, the effort of the author, the efforts of the publisher and marketing team - it was simply a project that, when it hit the shelves, the readers did not buy into.

That happens.

I have just spent the last several days going through a new round of submissions and I had a ton of stories that were taking similar risks. Was the writing good? Probably. Did the author really have some great effort into the project? Probably. But, in the end, I had to weigh the chances of being able to sell that product.

I have had several projects from my clients that I totally loved, but not matter how hard we tried, the projects were just a bit too "on the fringe" to be able to sell. 

So, as you look at your writing, consider that maybe the reason for lack of success with those submissions might not be due to your ability to write. It might all come from the market just not ready for that project right now. 

As far as my client, what are we doing? We are going back to the basics. No fancy trick plays, just a standard run up the middle (for you football fans). 

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