Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Visonary or Marketplace & the Indie Author

Today I read an interesting blog by Rachelle Gardner about two types of authors. It doesn't matter if you are a standard published author or an indie author for this one and it got me thinking.

What type of writer are you? Are you the visionary or the marketer? And does it really matter?

The visionary writes based on their vision of what makes fiction. They write what they know. They write from the heart. This is their main focus. They are hoping to find kindred spirits in the marketplace to match their vision of what they produce.

Visionaries don't care about what is hot in the market. They write because it's in them to do so. I'm one of these. I write from the heart.

This goes against everything standard publishers and agents base their livelihoods on. The business bases their projections two years in advance...that's about how long it takes for your completed manuscript to appear in bookstores. Projection is a crap shoot at best. The reading public have a way of circumventing all prediction models.

For example, Tom Clancy.  He created the genre of techno-thriller. Well he may not have created it but was darn successful at it. He followed his vision. He wrote "Patriot Games" and "Hunt for Red October." He couldn't sell it. It was initially published by Annapolis Press. A small first run, but he was finally published by a publisher. A funny thing happened and the business of publishing didn't see it coming...it became a blockbuster. I can name quite a few authors who have followed their vision, struggled with publishing and then hit it big. They are flashes in the pan and became role models for thousands of wanna-be writers. Put up on a pedestal for all to see. C.S. Lewis was cautioned he was committing literary suicide when he wrote the Narnia series because it was faith based. They were visionaries. They had a story to tell and believed that the market would adjust.

On the flip side is the marketplace writer. This writer writes what's hot. They travel the tried and true model of what sells. Ellery Quinn, Beatrice Small, Barbara Cartland, and even fan fiction all fall into the marketplace writers. Yes, some of it is very creative. Does it sell? Yes by the armloads. It's a numbers game.

Every business has a mixture of a base selling item, hot sales, and the no sales. It's a gamble. Who would have thought a posthumous published manuscript would sell into a best-seller? "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larrson.

Is it possible to marry the visionary and the marketplace into a happy union?

I believe so. As more and more indie authors enter the arena the reader's voice is uncensored. The choices of reading material are endless. The visionary has a toehold into the marketplace formerly governed by the standard publishers. The need for entertainment by the masses increases as stress of the everyday world builds. The readers want to be entertained. They want to be carried away from what they know and face daily into the realm of fiction and even nonfiction.

So the indie author throws his/her/heshems hat in the ring. Is it a gamble. You better believe it. While e-publishing and self-publishing is in it's tantrum throwing toddler stages, like children it is growing up fast.The stigma of being self-published is fading as a new market emerges. It's the birth of the visionary's marketplace. Where a visionary can celebrate the union with the marketplace and find happiness.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

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