Tag Archives: bestsellers

Authors Answer 53 – Jumping on the Bandwagon

Welcome to the second year of Authors Answer! We’re back for another year, and it should be an interesting one. All the familiar faces are back for this month. This week, we’re talking about the trends. Many genres and subgenres are quite popular these days. But would we try writing in those genres just for the money or popularity?

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 53 – There have been a lot of trends in literature, such as zombies, sparkly vampires, and so on. Would you jump on the bandwagon and write a novel with a trendy subject?

H. Anthe Davis

Sort of?  I have a plan for a semi-steampunk story/world that I’m already beginning to work on with my partner-in-crime Erica, though the parts I’ve focused on so far aren’t the steampunk ones — that stuff is more of a distant backdrop to the religious and racial conflict going on.  There are also pseudo-zombies and pseudo-vampires, but I hope I’ve mixed things up enough that it feels unique.  I read very little steampunk, since I have no affection for Victoriana, and I wouldn’t say that I’m doing it to hitch onto the trend — just that the emergence of the trend gave me an idea.  As a generally oppositional person, I try to avoid treading on other people’s trails; it always gives me an uncomfortable shock to read work too similar to my own.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

I would definitely “jump on the bandwagon” and write about trendy subjects, but only if those subjects actually appealed to me. For instance, I wrote a zombie novel, “Nowhere to Hide“, but I didn’t write it just because zombies have been big for a while; I also happen to enjoy zombies and thought it would be an interesting book to read. Alternatively, I wouldn’t write about sexy, sparkly vampires no matter how trendy it is because even though I occasionally read that kind of stuff as a guilty pleasure, I have absolutely no interest in writing about monsters that aren’t the least bit frightening.

Allen Tiffany

No, I don’t think I would jump on any trends. At least not that I could think of at the moment. I just would not how to write in a different genre then what I know. I’m afraid that if I tried it would across as either poorly conceived and executed, or it would only do well because it was formulaic and derivative. I don’t want to be guilty of either.

Paul B. Spence

Maybe I should, but no, and gods no about sparkly vampires! I may write, and have, something with zombies of some sort. I may even write a story or two about vampires, but they wouldn’t be what people expected.

Eric Wood

Nope. Unless the trend was something I was already writing about, then I probably would. I tend to write about what I know best. Plus, I’m not one to jump on bandwagons in general.

Jean Davis

If an idea came to me that included a current trend, I’d run with it. However, my story ideas tend to come at random and I’ve learned it’s not a great idea to force them into a mold just because it’s popular. Forcing leads to painful pulling of words from my head and that drains my ambition to write pretty quickly.

D. T. Nova

If I had an idea I liked that was inspired by a trend, sure. I haven’t ever felt any inclination to write either of those specific trends, though.

Elizabeth Rhodes

I have considered it, and tried in the past.  The trouble is, by the time I’m ready to publish said novel the trend has already come and gone.  I missed the dystopic bandwagon with Jasper.  Short stories would probably work best for me if I wanted to keep up with trends.

S. R. Carrillo

I would never write a novel purely because it’s trendy. I only ever write what’s in my heart. It just so happens that my first novels are centered around demons and angels – but only because they’re my shit. Not because they’re trendy. Zombies, werewolves, faux-BDSM romances, etc. are not my shit. I will never be driven by trends.

Caren Rich

Not unless it was a topic that interested me. I can’t see spending that much time on something that I’m not passionate about.

Gregory S. Close

I think you can never realistically chase a trend, because usually by the time the trend is at its peak it’s too late to start running after it.  If you’ve already got something ready to go that fits the trend when the trend is still hot, then that’s more coincidence than chasing.

However, I have been toying with writing a really cheesy paranormal romance love triangle erotica book just to see if it would be lucrative.  I just wouldn’t want to waste any real words or ideas on the project, so I’ve never pulled the trigger.  Maybe a parody would scratch the itch and make me feel less mercenary.

Linda G. Hill

I would if I was inspired by a story that I thought could not only fit into the genre/theme but that would add something to it. Trends only go so far if everything that comes out is a carbon copy of what’s been written before it.

Jay Dee Archer

I wouldn’t do it unless I were actually interested in writing something in that genre. Trying to force myself to write something I don’t particularly like would lead to a story that feels forced. It wouldn’t be very good writing. I write what I like, not write what other people like. Even for the money, I wouldn’t. It would probably be such a poor job at writing that it wouldn’t sell, anyway.

How about you?

Would you write in a popular genre to get paid more, even if you don’t like that genre? Leave your answers in the comments below.

The Martian: Self-published to Book and Movie Deal

Andy Weir’s The Martian is one of those success stories that indie authors love to hear about, or rather, would love to happen to them.

You see, Andy Weir started out by posting chapters of The Martian on his blog for anyone to read for free.  He then decided to sell it for $0.99 on Amazon. Then things got crazy. It was so popular that it got picked up by a traditional publisher, and then within a week, he had a movie deal. And now that the movie’s coming out, it appears that critics are saying this may be one of the best movies of the year.

Wow.

Read about the whole story here. What I wrote above is just a highly condensed version. And here’s the movie trailer.

This should give hope to a lot of indie authors who want to make it big. It can happen. But they have to be realistic. This kind of thing is extremely rare. I would love for something like this to happen to me, of course. I think any indie author would love it.

As for the book (and the movie), the things I hear about it is that the science used in the story is what sets it apart from many other science fiction novels. It uses real science. I love that kind of science fiction. It’s one reason I loved Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars.

Any indie authors out there hoping for Andy Weir-like success?

Authors Answer 25 – One Hit Wonder or Prolific Author?

Harper Lee had a huge hit, To Kill a Mockingbird. It was the only book she published (thought recently, she announced a new book). But it was massively popular. Then there are other authors who seem to write a couple books a year. Many write without much recognition, but they keep going. This week’s question comes to us from the rather prolific commenter stomperdad.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 25: Would you rather write one book that’s hugely popular or many books with little recognition?

Linda G. Hill

Oooh, difficult question. Although I’d love to have a book that’s hugely popular, I love the writing part of making novels. So I think I’ll have to go with the latter.

…ask me again after I’ve published something. 😛

Caren Rich

Seriously, I just want to be published.  Writing a popular book would be amazing.  I don’t think it’s necessarily better than having a string of well-written books, that people have actually read. There is an allure to cult classics that bestsellers do not have.

D. T. Nova

It’s difficult for me to compare those as conflicting outcomes. I know that if a book I wrote became hugely popular it would just make me want to write more books even more, and it might even make it easier to be unconcerned with recognition in the future.

Amy Morris-Jones

I think I’d rather just write and not worry about popularity or publication—not great for a writer, right? I’d rather write a lot, so I’d pick the second option where I could build a small but (hopefully) loyal fan base over time. Those hugely popular books get far too much public scrutiny for my taste.

Jean Davis

I would rather write many books than one that hits it big. The pressure to top that huge success would make it hard to let the creativity flow enough to let the next books come into being and make it through the editing process.

Elizabeth Rhodes

I’d prefer to write several books with little recognition.  What would I do with my time after the first bestseller makes it big?  I’m not going to stop writing after that.  I’m also not sure if I’d ever feel comfortable with a Harper Lee level of fame.

H. Anthe Davis

I’m in the process of writing many books with little recognition, so I guess this is what I signed on for!  Yay me!

In all honesty though, I don’t care about popularity.  I just want to get these stories out of my head.

Paul B. Spence

Oh, bloody hell. I’ve already written many books with little recognition… But how could you only write one book?

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Tough one. I definitely would love for one of my books to become hugely popular, but if that meant no one would ever read anything else I ever wrote? It seems like quite the trade-off. Also, realistically speaking, it’s much more likely for a writer to build a little bit of recognition with each concurrent book than to become an overnight sensation based on just one book.

I think, probably, maybe, I’d go with the many books, because even if that one book was hugely popular, I think it would kill me if I just kept writing and writing and never got any recognition for any of my other work.

S. R. Carrillo

Popularity is really not all that important to me. I’d definitely rather write several of the little-recognized books. Seems I’m headed in that direction, anyway, and I’m all too okay with it. ;] Actually, I think I’d panic if I ever wrote a hugely popular book. I’m only ever truly writing for myself in the first place – publishing is merely a way of inviting others on this crazy ride with me, y’know?

Jay Dee Archer

I think it’s safe to say that most, if not all, of us would answer the same way: we’d rather have many books with little recognition. We spend a lot of time writing, not for the recognition, but because we have stories we want to tell.  It is extremely rare  to have that big hit, and I think we all understand that. I would rather have plenty of books out than one big hit. Besides, I’d continue writing even if I had just one big hit. I couldn’t stop.

With that said, recognition does build over time the more one writes. Each book gains some fans, which in turn results in more sales for all books. They may never be big sellers, but people are reading them. That’s all I want.

How about you?

If you had this choice, would you rather have a single bestseller or a bunch of books that gain little recognition? Leave your answers in the comments below.