Wednesday, February 22, 2012

If I see 1 More Vampire-Based Query Letter...

As writers, most of us are overflowing with ideas. Hell, I have a list of nearly 10 novels that I'd love to be working on right now. Unfortunately, there's no way I'd be able to spread myself that thin and produce anything of value. Oh and let's not forget that putting all our stock in one story violates the "egg in the basket" principle leaving us vulnerable to failure.

The book market is like anything else. It is not static. It shifts and shapes according to the latest trends, news or market ting schemes. Take Twilight for instance. Prior to Twilight, vampires were always popular, but never dominated the market like it does today. YA paranormal is so saturated now that one can hardly imagine how we used to live without our "Team Edward" bumper stickers and "Bite Me" T-shirts.

This brings up my point. Before Twilight, I was in the middle of a WIP that was based on...wait for it...Vampires. Now I realize that every author thinks their story is original, so I'll spare you from saying mine is, BUT mine contains a very strange take on vamipric origins that would be a key selling point in my query to any agent. That being said, do I stand a chance of getting published now? Nope. Will it be a few years before I can even begin to submit? Yep (at least). Does that tick me off? Absolutely.

See, up until then, I'd been spending all my time and effort on that one story. Sadly, when the market shifted in favor of that genre I wasn't finished with my novel. I couldn't jump on the wagon, but instead got a full mouth of dust.

So, what's the moral of the story?

If you have desires to get published for the first time, don't burn yourself by only working on 1 novel. By the time your novel is finished, you may find that the market has shifted against your favor and your masterpiece will be nothing but a paperweight on the shelf.

Does this mean you should be simultaneously writing 3 or 4 books... No. Just means that if you have other ideas, don't squelch them just because they pop up in the middle of your WIP.

Question: How many novels are on your "to write list" and how many are you currently working on?

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I've got 3 novels in partial stages of completion, the fourth Talera novel, a horror thriller, and a post-apoc adventure piece. I'd really like to write a western too, and have a title and an opening for that. No lack of ideas here, mostly a lack of time, and occassionally a lack of effort.