Part of the great thing about being a Scribe is I get to see a lot of impressive reads pass through this blog, awesome story recommendations, and also grasp how much talent and creativity exists among multiple genres.
I also judge several contests a year, everything from erotic, inspirational, science fiction, mainstream, mystery, thrillers to straight and sweet romance. And, though, I've never judged literary, I do enjoy literary work, too. Often, as I read some of these compelling manuscripts, many of them equal to products I find in the bookstore, I wonder why hasn't this sold?
Which got me thinking. I love so many genres, why is it when one book sells, myriad books emulating an author's style and plot seem to follow? At a conference an editor said to us, if you want to see what we're looking for in this genre, read this author. Give us something like this.
And then during the exact same conference agents on a panel said, We're looking for something new, fresh and original, or this line is dead, or this market is heating up again. Write this....
See my problem? There seems to be a pattern here. We receive so many mixed signals. As I switched radio stations the other day, I went from Oldies to Rap, Country, Jazz, Classical, Rock and beyond. Imagine someone telling a fan, you can only listen to this station. Or a band trying to break into the industry, and a producer saying, I'm looking for a group that sounds exactly like Led Zeppelin, or I like your interpretation of classical, but rap is hot right now. Or to put it really into perspective, a group that incorporates -- say classical and rap -- and a producer throwing up his hands and saying, I like it, but don't know where I'd place it.
Maybe it's exactly the same in the music industry and I'm naive. I have heard the stories of musicians waiting tables, selling shoes and nearly starving before breaking in. Maybe it is a whole lot like publishing. Anyone have his pulse on the music industry and care to do a comparison? I'd love to hear your thoughts. My only choice is to write the book that's in me and not try to sell to the market. While I'm at it, I'll shuffle through my Ipod and enjoy a whole mix of many kinds of music.