First thing I have to tell you: go out and buy Elaura Niles’ book: Some Writers Deserve to Starve: 31 Brutal Truths about the Publishing Industry.
I was in a Books-A-Million over a year ago, taking a break from writing. I began perusing the shelves, and the spine of this small book jumped out at me.
I quickly snatched up the book and began devouring it.
The purpose behind the book is not to discourage, but to enlighten. As the back cover states, “Even the most talented writers chance failure if they don’t know how the publishing industry works.” The goal of the book is to state the brutal truths about the publishing industry and to offer advice on how one can overcome those truths.
TRUTH: IF YOU DON’T KNOW YOUR BOOK, NO ONE EVER WILL
No one will ever know more about your novel than you. You’re the creator, the person who received that first initial spark to write the book. Many times, writers have a hard time figuring out which genre their book falls into. These days, it’s easy to see why. Yes, there are mysteries and sci-fi and romance, and the list goes on. However, many of these genres are broken in sub-genres. In fact, you’ll notice once you’ve written a book, it contains several genres. This is a slight blessing for writers. Unlike category romance and maybe one or two other genres, there are no hard, set rules to which the writer must adhere to. Some writers are so set in trying to make their novel “fit” one particular genre that they lose sight of the story, of the characters. Your first and foremost goal is to WRITE A DAMN GOOD NOVEL. Tell the story that must get told. After that, using Niles’ book, you can identify the many genres that your book may fall into and ultimately discover the sub-genres that it falls under, too. Her book also helps with non-fiction and screenplays. The point of this truth? If you can’t tell an agent or editor WHAT your book is about and what genre(s) it fits into to, he/she will not do that job for you. Agents and editors go through several ‘scripts and queries a day; they don’t have time to figure out what you should know as the writer.
More TRUTH to come...
Shon Bacon is an author, editor, and educator, whose biggest joys are writing and helping others develop their craft. She has published both creatively and academically and interviews women writers on her popular blog ChickLitGurrl: high on LATTES & WRITING. You can learn more about Shon's writings at her official website, and you can get information about her editorial services at The World According to ChickLitGurrl.