Infographic: Do You Know The Difference Between Literary, Upmarket and Commercial Fiction?

Knowing how to categorize your work is one of the most important skills a writer needs to know–especially while querying. Here’s an infographic to help. It’s not perfect and there are many places that writers won’t fit into and that doesn’t mean it’s not a marketable book. However, learning how to market yourself starts with knowing where your book stands and where it will sit on bookshelves.

Fiction Category Infographic

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The hard truths of publishing right now

There are some realities in publishing that are tough right now…

Format

Original trade paper is now the way to go with many debuts. Hardcover is a tough sell and no one wants to be placing their authors out of the market.

The traditional approach (hardcover release followed by paperback a year later) is now an exception, not the standard rule.

I know it’s hard for many authors to get their heads around the idea that they won’t be published in hardcover, but I frame it as something that has to be earned and worked up to right now.

Acquisitions

If a project is not amazing, editors aren’t buying. Editors see a lot of good things they might have bought 10 years ago, but right now books need to be remarkable to stand out in acquisition meetings and on bookshelves. That’s why agents are also extremely picky; we know how hard it is out there.  Continue reading The hard truths of publishing right now

Publishing: Where Art Meets Commerce

Publishing is a very fine balance of discovering and nurturing literary talent while finding a way to commodify and disseminate to the masses.

I wholly appreciate literary fiction, but fiction that borderlines on experimental is difficult to sell in commercial publishing. Experimental fiction plays with form, voice, technique and style. This is to be distinguished between high-concept and genre developing fiction which can be super commercial.

I note the differences because when you search for an agent and seriously pursue trade publishing agents and editors are looking for authors and styles they can sell to editors whose publishing house can then sell to consumers.

Publishing is not creative writing. Publishing is where art meets commerce. Continue reading Publishing: Where Art Meets Commerce

The True Beginning

Does your novel start in the right place? Read on for tips...

Do you know where to start your novel?

Successful commercial fiction doesn’t start with first words you ever put on the page. The start is where the true beginning lies. It’s where the book takes off. It’s where subtle character introduction meets engrossing plot. I don’t mean an interesting memory or event. I mean riveting, don’t want to put it down, if I only requested three chapters I need more, stat! In today’s age of short Twitter-like attention spans, online reading communities that give you quick starred reviews as well as editors and agents who have piles of reading on their desk and computers you need to grab someone’s attention and keep it. Continue reading The True Beginning