Cozy mystery author Liana Turner explains why writing to trend isn’t selling out.
Hey, writing friends. Ready to sit back and watch the royalties from your books roll in while you sit on a beach sipping fruity drinks?
Yay for you!!! I’m totally excited for you as being an author is the absolute the best job out there. In my opinion anyways.
But while it’s a super fun job, it’s also SUPER hard!
Well part of it is hard. The writing part is actually the easiest. It’s selling what you’re writing that proves to be the challenging aspect. The good news is making a living as a writer is possible. Notice I said making a living, not becoming filthy stinking rich. That is a bit harder. Though not impossible either. That’s the beautiful thing about life. Anything is possible.
Most of us enjoy writing in certain genres and on certain topics. We write what we like. That’s why we write it in the first place. But if what you like isn’t what the masses like then you have the decision to make.
Do you write for yourself and, therefore, have a much harder time selling anything or do you write what people want to read and make money. It’s what is called writing to trend and it’s not selling out.
If you want to make a living as a writer, then you’re going into business. There’s no other way around it, and the business of writing is one thing that many writers don’t like.
When you’re an entrepreneur, you do a lot of things you don’t necessarily want to because it will get you to the result you desire. You can’t have it be all rainbows and unicorns all the time. The art of writing is no different. There are plenty of well-known writers (and photographers and artists) who started out doing jobs they didn’t want to do or care about artistically but paid the bills.
Writing to trend doesn’t mean you can’t ever write what you want, it means you must balance commercial works (the stuff that sells) with your passion (the stuff that doesn’t). Let me share an example of how this has affected me.
I write cozy mysteries. For those of you not familiar, cozy mysteries are a vanilla version of a romance and a suspense/thriller. Meaning there is often romance and mystery but no sex scenes or major blood and guts (there are also other elements that make up a cozy but for purposes of this story not relevant).
Cozy mysteries, while popular in their own circles, have a small piece of the romance/suspense/mystery pie.
Right now romantic/suspense is much more popular. So I’ve done a lot of thinking on do I continue to write in a genre that’s not as popular or do I stretch myself and try writing more sex and violence, so I have a book that is desirable to more people?
I also want to write chick lit, women’s fiction, and RomCom (I’ve got a lot of ideas in me), but romantic/suspense is more popular than all of those.
Bottomline is I want to sell books to support my family in the lifestyle which we’ve become accustomed to so I am perfectly fine with writing a couple of romantic suspense to pay the bills so to speak and then writing something of my choice and then a couple more romantic suspense.
Trends will change again at some point and then I’ll have to change with them, but I’m ok with that because I’m living the life I want, doing what I want for a living.
Presley tells her boss what he can do with her job in HR and embarks on a new career as a freelance journalist. What seems like a simple interview with a Senator turns to murder when the day after her interview the Senator turns up dead.
Does the fact that Presley was one of the last people to see him alive make her a suspect? Her ex-boyfriend Cooper, who was in charge of the Senators security, might think so. Presley is determined to clear her name but can she do it and resist Cooper’s charms?
Liane Turner has been a business consultant and college professor for the last several years, but through all her career choices she has continued to have a passion for writing, and took the plunge to write books in 2010. Her blog, Writing is a Lifestyle, was launched to share the daily life of a Real Housewife of the Midwest.