Thursday, February 5, 2009

We Are The Market?

Among my favorite blogs are the blogs of agents, editors and/or their assistants, e.g. Chuck Sambuchino's Guide to Literary Agents and The Rejecter. I' ve had some writing friends say that an agent who blogs isn't selling, but we all need a little down time in my opinion. And, blogs by contacts in the industry are the first stop for those of us still struggling to secure contracts.

A little while back, I had a slight meltdown entitled Watch the Market . Then today, I read the Rejecter's latest blog article. In part, it explained the publishing market and why it is the way it is: readers buy the books, publishing companies track what readers buy, and editors contract for similar works, either as more of the same or with a slightly different twist. So, if I want to see more historical fiction out there, I have to buy more. Or, if we all go out and buy self help or memoirs, there'll be more of the same. Got it now? Good because if there's anything I love more than writing a book, it's reading one. Reading has been one of my first loves since I was a child and my collection has grown to the point where I now give away all my favorite fiction because my shelves are filled with the research books I need. But honestly, I never gave much thought to how I might be influencing the type of books that clutter bookstores.

This whole thing has a chicken or egg feel to it, though. We tell the publishers, "yes, we want to see more great historical fiction" so they publish more. Except, who really sets the market in motion: the writer who writes very well, the agent who makes the sale, the editor who accepts the manuscript, the marketing team's blitzkrieg of promotions or the readers, like me, who love the book / author and just want more of the same?

I'm going to be thinking about this one for a bit.

2 comments:

Anita Davison said...

Just to let you know, I'm trying hard to hold up my end of this unspoken bargain - I buy historical fiction for my own reading pleasure as often as I can. The trouble is, I find many books are written around the same people - i.e. Anne Boleyn must be the most written about character in history. There are still lots to choose from though.
Anita

Nixy Valentine said...

About the very first part of your article, I find I really enjoy agents who blog, and as a blogger myself, I find it's a great way to start the day, and it really only takes up an hour or so. People could also say fiction writers who blog aren't writing fiction, but anyone with even a tiny bit of experience knows that being a writer is about a lot more than writing books. Some of my favourite agent blogs have improved my queries and general writing techniques, so looking at the bigger picture, it probably saves them time in the long run and is good for the industry.

Thank you for seven great years

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