Ah, the worrisome search for the perfect market… where does one begin? Well, to put it frankly one should start with the research of potential publishers, and with the worrying, before the writing has even begun. When one sets out to pen the next great American novel they must be prepared to fail, for becoming the next bestselling author is an exception. Considering the wealth of writers in not only the United States, but the world, the market is tough for an author who wishes to write full time, let alone be a break-out star.
First, one must find a suitable niche. Dig in to that niche and find out all there is to know, read the popular books in the category. If you desire to write horror, you must know what’s already been done to avoid hackneyed plots. Network with others and figure out the secret to their success with similar publishers. What sells in the publishing world? It varies according to trends. There was Harry Potter, there was Twilight, there were zombie books, and there were apocalyptic books, but riding on their waves is a surefire way to be forgotten when it all washes ashore. Learn your own personal reason for writing your story and for whom you are writing. While this won’t guarantee success, it will lead to a better understanding of what has come before and what has gone, so that you won’t write the same thing. Don’t want to repeat history, right?
If you’re in it for the money, you might as well bow out gracefully now. With every bit of work there should come some piece of satisfaction. For me, money is last on my list. Sure I would love to make a living writing, but that’s not why I do it. I like to make something out of nothing. It makes me feel (hey, I’m feeling a bit blasphemous today) divine. My mind dreams up these things and they magically appear beneath my pen. It’s your creation. Nobody else will ever recreate the exact line, because everyone witnesses the world in a separate light, and writing is a way to truly show how different opinions can be formed.
Now back to the perfect market. There isn’t one. Some pay, some don’t, some market well, others not at all. As with writing there isn’t one formula with which to conform. You can’t say that what works for one person will indefinitely work for all. I never write an outline. It works for me, but someone else may need to organize their thoughts. Their mind doesn’t spin like a tornado, tossing characters and plots around crazily until they finally land and I can place them in order. I like to see my characters develop and know not why or how, but to be surprised like a reader. The market you need is the one where the editor enjoys your story, plain and simple. It boils down to taste. Surprise them.
The first publisher you send your work to may reject it flat out, not liking your style, your characters, or your plot all together. The next may have thought your concept was brilliant, but there simply wasn’t enough conflict. This is where more discouragement may arise, but the writer can’t let it bog them down because, hopefully (again it’s never surefire), you will find that editor who simply can’t part with your novel, short story, or poem. The best way to find a place for your work is to not worry about money or pleasing an editor. Don’t look at other writers and wonder why they are they are successful. Write for the pleasure, to create your own masterpiece. I always like to think that success is measured in happiness. Whether others like it or not, you will feel satisfied. Then you are in your own niche.