The other day I happened to read a writer recounting not having done well with sales in their original genre. It was the one in which they had originally wanted to write. They went on to note that when they moved into writing in a different one, however, sales of those newer books took off.
That new genre is indeed vastly different from what they had published previously. Comparing the two, they might as well be books by two entirely different authors. Essentially, imagine, say, shifting from writing “Jack Reacher” novels to writing gardening books (which happened to sell better).
I thought about that. I feel if that author – or anyone in the same position – is fine with that, that is fine for them, of course. We all see this our own way.
Don’t get me wrong, I love book sales. However, I don’t care how many books I sell. I never have cared about that, really.
Writing fiction is my choice. Maybe I could sell more children’s books, or books about cats, or books about gardening, or books about orange half-humans on the planet “Zerg.” But I have no desire to try to write children’s or cat or gardening books or books about “Zergians”; writing on those subjects and in those genres does not interest me.
My bottom line is I strive to be a good writer and the only hope I believe I have to achieve that is to write about what I am most passionate in writing about…
…so I am certainly not going to spend my time writing about what does NOT much interest me. What is also usually the case is to sell lots of books is also a matter of some “luck.” A book needs merely at some time even accidentally to end up in front of only ONE person – the right person.
Regardless I take great pride already in who I know reads – even if they are not in the millions – my novels. Readers are getting the very best read I feel I can give them. I know my books are sometimes “challenging” reads, but I believe books should now and then challenge us:
So am I a good writer? No author should dare to try to answer that question themselves. That is for readers to decide.
I also know that when all is said and done all that will be left behind are my books. That is what this has all been about since the beginning. If I am remembered at all as a writer, I prefer in the end to be remembered as a good writer.
On that note, have a good day, wherever you are.
Now, for me, back to more writing. 🙂