I write stuff for kids...and muse on writing, children's books, and the publishing industry in general

Friday, August 13, 2010

Advice on Writing to Trends

With the recent WriteOnCon now over, it gives us time to digest the huge amount of information we were given across the three day conference. So much to take in, so little time!

A particularly helpful piece of advice was given by agent Steven Malk of Writers House (see Casey McCormick's fantastic blog Agent Spotlight for some information on Steven) in a Q&A Session, and this helps to answer some of the questions raised in my earlier posts.

The question was:
"It seems everyone these days is talking about what a tough market it is, not only in trying to find an agent but also trying to land a publisher. So how, as a writer, do we try to increase our marketability especially as trends today may not be the same trends come a year or two from now when our book could potentially come out?"

The answer:
"I know this might be very general advice, but, honestly, the best thing you can do is just to focus on your work and make it the best it can be. I’ve said many times in interviews and speeches that I think writing to trends is a bad idea. As you point out, there’s a good chance that when your book comes out, the trend will have moved on. Beyond that, I just truly believe that the best books don’t come from hopping on a trend, but rather come from a more pure place. The goal should always be to write a great manuscript that will succeed regardless of time, place, or trends, and staying focused on that goal is the best thing you can do.

Great advice. What do you think???
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