THE FINE ART OF TAKING A RISK by Elizabeth Coldwell
http://elizabethcoldwell.wordpress.com/When was the last time you took a risk when it comes to fiction? Deciding to pick up a book by an author you’ve never heard of, rather than choosing the latest bestseller that’s been advertised with fifty shades of hype? Walk into the majority of bookshops, at least here in the UK, and you’ll be confronted by piles of books by familiar names on very familiar themes. It’s all chick lit, Scandinavian crime thrillers and werewolf/vampire love triangles, with publishers relentlessly playing follow my leader in search of sales. Walk past those towering piles, the ‘three for the price of two’ offers, towards those neglected shelves at the back of the shop and you’ll find interesting books by unfamiliar writers, but how many people bother to do that? The way books are marketed, it’s no surprise the industry is now dominated by no more than a couple of hundred authors, and it’s becoming ever harder for new voices to be heard unless they fit into the narrow slot of what publishers want this season.
As writers, we take risks all the time. When we send a manuscript to a submissions editor, we run the risk of having it rejected. If we present it to a critique group, we risk harsh appraisal, even from people who know and like our work. So what should we do? Stick the story in a drawer and run the risk no one will ever read it?
Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road appealed to me as a project because it was designed specifically to take risks. Mashing up genres that don’t often find a home together, giving authors free rein to explore unusual and possibly controversial topics, offering an opportunity, above all, to have fun… Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
The lead character in my story, "For Art’s Sake," also finds herself taking risks, forced by circumstances to step out of her comfort zone. First, when her secure teaching job comes to an end and she has to reinvent her career, going into the house clearing business with her brother. Then, when she meets a man who offers the romance she’s been craving, spiced up with something that appeals to her more adventurous sexual tastes. Not to mention that he’s taking something of a risk himself, by revealing needs to her that some women find peculiar or even distasteful. Can they find happiness together? You’ll just have to pick up a copy of the anthology and find out, won’t you?
Come on readers and writers, be sure to post your comments. There's a free e-copy of Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road to the winner.ReplyDelete
Thanks for hosting me today, John! And someone is going to enjoy winning that copy of the book.ReplyDelete
Writers need to takes risks when they write, but what about risks when marketing and promoting. How do we manage risks?ReplyDelete
Steve, would you send me your email address so I can have an e-copy of the anthology sent to you? Thanks.Delete
John B. Rosenman
Steve, what risks are you talking about? There are the risks of misspent money and resources, as well as wasted time. A blog tour that didn't justify the time and expense; a movie trailer that didn't attract readers; a book signing that only moved a few copies. Perhaps one way to minimize expense is to set up a free blog on Google or elsewhere and host fellow writers several times a week while promoting your own writing. That will help get the word out. Or publish letters in the local paper and refer readers back to your site or sites. However, there is a blizzard of competing attractions online and you run the risk of being lost in the crowd, especially if you write something different or challenging.ReplyDelete
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John, as someone who enjoys mixing up genres, this sounds like a wonderful anthology. I recall reading on another blog about this book. I know you take chances with your writing, too. I think in some ways we all take chances and risks.ReplyDelete