4 Reasons You Should NEVER Sell Out As An Author


1.4 Billion Reasons presentation.

1.4 Billion Reasons presentation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rachelle Gardner on her blog at Book & Such Literacy Agency made an usual revelation. She of course would know more about what is hot or not in the writing business however as much as I respect her opinion I sure don’t have to agree with it.

In her post titled Write A Break-In Novel Rachelle advised new writers to worry more about a piece that will get you into people’s homes not collect dust at your home. “Don’t write the novel that makes you happy but doesn’t sell instead write one commercially predictable novel in order to get your foot in the door,” she states. To me that’s called selling out and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who thinks this way. Some shit can really backfire if more writers become naive enough to adopt this mentality.

Curse of the sophomore project? Ok just to entertain myself and you say for instance you do come up with that commercially packaged manuscript, sell it and get a nice following. If you go by her theory and come out with a totally opposite 2nd novel you run the risk of losing fans that you worked hard to get. I’m not saying you’re not allowed but it makes no sense if your readers don’t feel authenticity.

Too many online outlets to not compromise and do what you’re passionate about. There are so many programs, sites, etc for you not to put out the work you want to. A big publisher dismisses your manuscript go the self publishing route. Keep your options open.

What’s the definition of ‘commercially predictable’ anyway? Whose to say my definition of commercially predictable is the same as agents and publishers? I’m not reaching for ish to complain about I’m being dead on serious.

Same run of the mill novels. The most obvious reason this theory will not work is everyone will start writing alike (actually they already do). The plots, the characters, beginnings and endings will all be too similar. As a writer you want to stand out in order to build your brand and fan base otherwise expect to blend right on in like a chameleon. I’ve said this before and I will continue to say it, the African American literary sections are filled with ‘drone’ novels. Street lit is sizzlin so up and coming writers are rewriting the same storyline. Only a few writers (Sister Souljah, K’wan comes to mind) can create an artistic urban novel and make it different, everybody else falls at the wayside. Half of them thought the same thing ‘if I can just get my foot in the door…’ Ha! How’s that working for you?

The world of novel writing and publishing is forever evolving and is very finicky. The next big thing is around the corner changing the game daily so it’s hard to say write what is hot right now in order to make some dollars. That is weakening your confidence in your own writing and becoming successful. I say don’t be a sellout, if you have a manuscript that is out of the norm but you believe in it find other ways to publish it. You better have a thick skin cause it won’t be easy but if the end result is a successful career in writing well then it’s worth hustlin’ hard for. But to sum it all up – NEVER SELL OUT!

Peace and luv!

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