As I look over a lot of author's posts on social media, I am seeing a common thread that I think is holding back authors from being successful. While being in publishing as a writer is about the creative side and the storytelling, it is also about the marketing and business side of things. This is about selling a product. It is about consumers and producers. It is about market research and advertising.
While I fully understand editors and agents will always tell you to write the best story you can... to write the story of your heart, authors still need to think of this as a business. Will your product sell? Who will buy it? Is there a market for it? The list is endless.
I don't care about how hard you worked, or the quality of the research, we always have to return to the single concept of whether or not there is a market for that book.
Think of selling any other product out there. You might come up with this great idea that you know no one else out there has thought of. OK, good start. It is original. But the next big question you need to ask is if this is a product that A LOT of people would want to buy. Successful business professionals always start right there. If the answer is that the product is going to go no where, and only you and a bunch of friends think the idea is good, then you would stop and not proceed. You would not invest a ton of your personal capital creating the product, doing research and development, or even start looking for investors.
And yet, what do authors do? They just charge forwards. They write and research. The lose countless hours of their lives on a product that will simply never sell. And when that happens, they turn to social media complaining that the publishing world is "just not interested in new works." No, they are not interested in things that do not sell. Remember, agents and publishers are looking at your book as an investment. Will this sell? Is there a market for it.
And yet, the author continue. They charge ahead saying they will sell their product through self-publishing and "prove to the world they were right." Did they do that market research? No. But they still charge ahead, dumping all of their capital on a product, and then wonder what happened.
Being a professional writer also involves being a business professional. It requires a market savvy. And if you don't have that, this might not be a career for you!