Friday, October 15, 2010
MY VIEW ON THE WRITING MARKET
Recently I attended the annual Utah Romance Writer’s Conference up in Park City, Utah. It was a fantastic event. The hotel was riddled with famous authors, agents and editors as well as dozens of classic Porsche owners (another exciting event taking place).
I want to say thank you to the hardworking committee who put this together. I know it takes tons of work and effort, and I for one appreciated it. I enjoyed the networking, the buzz of excitement which filled the air, and the entertainment (that includes the delicious food and the sexy Scottish musicians). I took away a great deal from the conference this year.
The publishing market is really going through a vast array of changes. When the chips all fall, no one is quite certain what will happen because there is no business model to follow. It’s still the best time to be an author. Many publishers, big and small, are jumping on the ereader bandwagon, but when you talk to readers, young and old, they still love the feel of a book in their hands. I had agents tell me that I didn’t need them—that they’d just be taking my money and all I needed to do was know my target audience and publisher and submit directly. How great is that? Authors were also told that if they asked publishers for help with promotion, they were more likely to receive additional services.
At last year’s conference I was told that if I wasn’t writing four to five books a year, I might as well cache in my author chips. This year, that wasn’t the sentiment. Prolific writing has been redefined. Doing your own marketing is mandatory no matter what publisher you choose, however the options in marketing have increased drastically. Virtual book tours are now possible instead of travelling; social networking is the forefront of promotion; and self-publishing is becoming more popular and successful in leading an author to one of the big-six publishing houses.
Although a very popular author commented that she writes seven days a week from eight to sixteen hours a day and that’s the kind of commitment needed to succeed as an author, I’m not sure I agree. Any career takes commitment, but we each must choose our priorities and establish balance. I for one place myself and family first and then my career. I never want to lose my love for writing. I never want it to be a chore. I’ll keep plugging away at what I love and hope readers everywhere catch on that I love what I’m doing, and that I’m dedicated to my quality of writing, not deadlines.