From the Editor:
Writing for Yourself
By Lazette Gifford
Copyright © 2008 by Lazette Gifford, All Rights Reserved
So, what is it about writing
that you love? For some people it is the pure love of creating
stories. For others, it's the lure of publication. In my
opinion, though, it's the first group that are going to have a better
chance at publication, because the second group is apt to try and write
something they think will appeal to the people running the book
However, it's very hard to
write for the book publishing market. In some ways, it's impossible. You
can't know what a publisher is going to want next week, let alone what
they'll want in a year or so when you are done with your current book.
If you look on the shelves today, note what is the current 'big new
thing' and start writing a book in that style and genre, by the time you
are done the shelves will be filled with those kinds of books. By then,
the publishers may well be looking in some other direction. It's the way
the entire entertainment industry works: If one is good, then three
dozen are even better. But the public gets overfed on the tasty morsels,
and they start looking for something new to devour.
How do all those books turn
up on the same basic premise? Some of it is chance -- a certain movie or
television show inspires a number of people to write something similar,
and the books make it to the shelves at about the same time. The public,
having seen the same shows and movies, are as eager for something
similar, as well. For awhile, at least, it works.
Another part of the shelf is
filled by specific work requested by the publishers. They see one book
is making an unusual splash and they ask agents if they have someone who
might write something similar. By the time you start seeing a dozen
books with the same sort of premise, it's likely that the market is
already saturated and editors are looking for the next 'big new thing'
to take its place.
So, unless you are truly
inspired to write such a book -- or a publisher asks you for one -- you
are far better off going your own way. Write what you love and what you
want to read. Your love and enthusiasm of the work will show. It's
no more a guarantee of a contract, of course, but at least you'll enjoy
And the really good, fun
part? You might just be the one to start that new trend.