I know that a book needs to be marketed. Boy! Do I know that, but I’ve seen a trend among a lot books that are out there to help writers market. The author usually spends a chapter or so talking about how the author should do all these things to search out what books in what categories are selling and then target a book to those places.
To me, that seems like you’re simply writing to market. You’re willing to tailor your story to the winds of fate and say whatever needs to be said to sell your book. The author becomes a politician of words.
Is that what book marketing has come to?
I still hope that authors out there who are writing great stories that they love can publish those stories and find a market. So maybe their novel isn’t about zombies or vampires or whatever the current craze is and it won’t sell a million copies. Maybe it sells only a few thousand. If it does well in its market isn’t that saying more than writing a mediocre book in a larger market?
Sure writers want to be able to make a living off their books, but the think about good writing is that it sticks around and continues to sell as more and more people discover it. This gives the author a base on which to build with sales of future books. As the author continues to write, sales build upon each other and grow to a point where the author can make a living.
Mediocre writing tends to peak and then die off quickly.
So why the push to be a marketer first and an author second? Authors became writers to tell stories that were stuck inside their heads dying to come out. Do you tell you muse, “Sorry, you don’t fit the category that is selling well today. Try back next month?”
Tell the story. Tell it well. And then do what needs to be done to get it in the hands of readers.