It’s over 30 years since my first novel was published, and I still can’t believe that I wrote the above paragraph… I never thought I’d live to see the day.
If you’re not making plans to take advantage of self-publishing on the Kindle, explore the possibilities. The opportunities are huge.
In the 1970s, I was publishing the occasional short story and magazine article. Writing was a hobby, but I always wanted to write a book, so I got on with it. My first step was to see what books were selling. Even in those days, I knew that you wrote what sells.
Thanks to self-publishing and the Kindle, Amanda Hocking’s had much more success with that strategy than I had, over 30 years ago. In this article, A Self-Published Author’s $2 Million Cinderella Story : NPR, she says:
“”I kind of re-evaluated myself and what was popular and what I really felt were my strengths,” Hocking says. “I went to Walmart and I was looking at all the best-selling titles they had.””
Write what people are already buying — IF you can read it and if you think “I can write that”
The NPR article says that after she saw what sells, “Hocking went home and wrote her first paranormal romance — in 15 days.” She wrote it because she could read paranormal romances, and enjoyed them.
You couldn’t get me to read a paranormal romance with a gun to my head, BUT if you can read and enjoy them, and think you can write something similar, go right ahead. The feeling that “I can write that” is a pretty good indication that yes indeed, you CAN write that.
Choose your genre, read what’s selling, and write
When you’re writing to sell, you’re writing for readers, and in fiction, readers read within a genre. Currently, I’m reading lots of historical romances. I also enjoy suspense novels, as long as they’re not too gory.
Pay attention to what you love to read, and what’s selling in those genres. As soon as you find a genre that clicks, you’re golden. You can write with confidence.
Of course, to sell well, you’ll need to write a good book. Give yourself time to learn. It may take several books before you gain confidence; expect that.
Just remember: write what sells. Everything starts from there.
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