Okay, let’s think that you’ve got an excellent idea for a book that will turn the whole world upside down. You know you can write it, because there are some stories or books written by you. These books proudly stand on a shelf in your room, and some exemplars were presented to your friends and girlfriend(s).
But nobody gave you money for these works. Your friends told you that you are very smart, and that was the whole reward.
That is why when you start thinking on a new project, there are doubts appearing in your mind: what if this book’s fate will be the same as the other projects’? How to guarantee the new book to be really bought once it was written?
There are two ways which guarantee you getting into a dead end.
First one: investigating the target audience of your book using the same instruments (quizzes, for instance), which are being used for researching the market of a shampoo or beer. Asking the target audience what they want. Finding potential readers and asking them about problems they have. These recommendations sound pretty cleverly, though being totally useless.
Do you know anyone who could say they want to watch TV-series about nerds while being absolutely sober? People never say that, but they watch “The Big Bang Theory” pretty cool.
Then, it is difficult to imagine a person who could answer about their problems something like: “Oh, I’ve got such a serious problem in life, I don’t feel enough emotions and I urgently need a heart-wrenching movie about hardship and deprivation of a drug-dealer”. But the “Breaking Bad” series and “Better Call Saul” are actual hits, well-known all over the world.
And what about the series where there is practically no plot, and characters only talk about their regular daily things: restaurant dinner, cool movie, or tonsils surgery? Boring, isn’t it? And “Seinfeld” is thought to be almost the greatest comedy series of all times.
Second way to dead end: is bringing your books to publishing offices and hope that one of them will be taken before your patience runs out. Persistence is good, of course, but it will not be enough for your literature success. Additionally, you (probably) have lots of ideas, and if to write a separate book for each of them and to wait till any publisher will take it for print, your whole life might not be enough.
Is there any other way? Is there a way when you can sell your books BEFORE they are written?
Many young authors think that people read these or those books because of their topic or a plot. But things are not always like that. Many people go “for the author”. They don’t pay too much attention to a plot or language of the book; they bought and continue to buy the books written by the familiar writer because they liked everything written and published by him or her.
Analogy: People watch movies where their favorite actors are. They don’t give a clue what the film is about, but if there is Dolph Lundgren playing the role of a main hero, they’ll go and watch this film obligatory.
In theory, it is quite easy to retell the story’s plot, to determine its topic and to describe main characters. But this all does not give the full gamma of feelings about the text, about its “point”. You feel this “point” to be in a good text, but it is hard to say what it exactly is.
Then one may think the author is always able to show what they can do. All that is required:
- Writing a book;
- Adding a form of subscription on the last page;
- Giving away the book for free in order for those who liked it to buy the next project.
The lack of this method is quite obvious. If to talk about the book with at least 100 000 words is it, then this book is quite long and difficult to write it. If the final product will not be interesting for readers in the end, then all the author’s efforts will be wasted in vain.
Then we go to another circle:
- To show the “points” (style, voice, personality), the author needs to spend lots of time writing (this might need some years even).
- Most part of newbie writers do not write bestsellers, and their efforts are the most likely to be put for nothing. There is a possibility for the author to get so tired of all this, that they’ll quit literature forever.
What is the problem’s point?
It is that, new writer does not know how to show the potential reader all the text qualities which can’t be properly described and determined yet. Freshman does not see the way of taking this or that topic, demonstrating all his or her writing abilities and starting a big book only if readers will be really interested in a project.
Solution: Small Text
To solve this problem, the author can create the small (and that is why not so costly) version of a book. For instance, to write a story, a short novel or any other small writing with no more than 10000 words in it. Such writing is 10 times smaller than the full romance, so there is less risk, too.
This small writing can be used to learn the reader’s demand of such topic. If there will be enough feedback on a small form, then it is fine to start writing a romance. If there was no enough feedback, then test another idea in the same way.
Even fail writings are useful in this case, because:
- They give you knowledge about the topics which are not interesting to readers;
- They give you the opportunity of gaining literature mastery.
Any method works in certain conditions, and doesn’t work in other ones. If this or that condition was not kept in your case, the presented solution might not work. You should find another way or to change the algorithm of the method then.
So, here are conditions for the solution above to work properly:
- If the reader liked one of your fictional texts, he/she will like another your text written it the same way;
- The higher is the text quality, the better the book is being solved (text quality guarantees readers to actively recommend the book to their friends). The quality means good work on characters, places’ description, plot etc.
- The more the author writes, the better is the quality of his or her texts (you need to write a lot in order to write good).
- Size of the small writing is not more than 10000 words.
- The author writes at least 3350 words a day (this means that you are able to write 3350 words daily without working too hard).
- 10000-word story can be written during one week:
- 1-2 days to think on characters, plot and places;
- 3 days to write;
- 2 days of additional time (for unexpected issues);
- After that, the story is given to an editor (for money), or is checked by people in the internet on literature platforms.
- The author has enough ideas for fictional texts (ideas are not the factor that slows you down);
- The author can (and/or wants to) write different kinds of texts in different genres: fantasy, science fiction, historical texts, etc.;
- Different texts attract different readers. People who liked the author’s story in fantasy genre are different than people who liked the story about World War II of the same author;
- All books written like that are fictional ones;
- The author’s performance can be increased by better work organization (you can start from one story a month and then come to one story a week). The performance can be increased by using schemes of work with texts. In case of novels, one can try the technology of “21 days to a novel” by M. Stackpole, and “Creating Short Fiction” by Damon Knight is good for short stories.
There are many other ways the young author can go in order to find the reader for a new book. Ideas described above are those which were tested by our authors.