I read this on the Smashwords blog page today and it kind of rang a bell with me.
The problem is that now the boundaries between writers and publishers are blurring. With so many authors turning Indie, we now have to accept that if we want our work to sell, we need to have some of the business nuance of a publisher. We need to be able to produce great covers, with catchy blurbs. We need to be clever with pricing and promotion.
But what about the books themselves? Should we also be writing books we think will sell or simply writing to 'express' ourselves?
A good friend of mine recently told me she modeled her own (now successful) series on that of a number of other already successful author's series'. I have to be honest, when I was told that, I was surprised. It has never occurred to me to produce a book modeled on something I knew would sell. For me, I've just written the story because the idea popped in my head and wouldn't go away until I'd written it all down.
But let's be honest, while I'm sure there are plenty of writers out there who do it purely for the love of writing, this is a business and needs to be treated as such. Writing to a particular 'formula' which I know would sell, makes sense, doesn't it?
I'm struggling a little with a number of things as far as my writing goes at the moment. I have one book currently due out, but I'm getting so many different pieces of advice about the book, my head is spinning. The second problem I have is with an ending of a novel that is basically done--all except the final scene, which I can't bring myself to write. I know how the book is supposed to end, but I know that ending won't please the readers and it will hinder the sales of the third in the series.
So, what do I do? Go with my guts, or be savvy and write what sells?