Writing What is Hot VS What is You
Anyone who reads my posts on any regular basis can tell you that I have wide and varied interests. One week might see me blog about a recent game I have been playing, while the next will be about my recent experience on jury duty. I don’t consider any of these posts off-topic because to me every experience assists a writer in creating a story.
It stands to reason that most people can explain or describe in detail things that they have themselves experienced. Some things are common sense, others reasonably estimated and perhaps based on science or similar knowledge, but for the most part it’s more difficult to describe things you have never done.
Some writers try to knock out a novel in a genre that is currently hot. If they were being traditionally published this would be a bad idea because the book usually takes 18-24 months to hit shelves from the time the author turns in their manuscript, whereas self-published titles could probably be pushed out within a week or two of being edited, making this option a great deal more viable as a revenue stream.
The problem with trying to write something that is popular versus something that is uniquely you is that, while you may make a bit of income for a short while, you will likely never create a brand. That is, will people recognize your name and your writing style and come back to purchase multiple titles from you in the future? Did they truly like your story or were they simply satisfying their need for whatever genre was popular at that time?
I certainly have nothing against an author trying to make a living by writing whatever they think will sell. Hopefully every author thinks their product will sell. It’s a great motivator to dream about earning a living from the very story you are telling.
This blog post was motivated by a recent thread at the KDP Kindle Forums regarding the millions of self-published titles that Amazon now has on their Kindle Shelves. I’m not really sure how this is any different than all the dime novels that were prevalent throughout the days of pulp fiction.