Agents and editors think they know what readers want … an Indie Chick speaks.
Carol Davis Luce offered up some succint and profound words when she sent her Indie Chicks piece to Mesmered – facts that seem overlooked so often by the mainstream publishing trade.
This is what she says: ‘Agents and editors think they know what readers want. They don’t always know. Readers know what readers want, and they’re expressing their wants by buying books written by indie authors. Give yourself a hardy pat on the back if you’ve completed a manuscript, but the big applause goes to our devoted fans and readers. Without them, we would be nothing.’
And the point is that in the case of the discerning reader I think she might be right. I think I can call myself a discerning reader and these days I don’t want to walk into a bookshop and have homogenised literature served up to me. I want freshness and difference. Carol is of the opinion that Indie writers offer this. Read what else she says:
SELF-TAUGHT LATE BLOOMER
Carol Davis Luce
My motto is, “If I can do it, anyone can do it.” I wasn’t born to write. I didn’t aspire to be a writer from the time I could hold a Crayon. I could, however, draw, and make things take shape through form and color on paper and canvas, and that’s the path I traveled well into midlife. The artist’s life opened up my eyes and mind to expression and sometimes stories through composition on that blank eighteen by twenty-four inch stretched canvas. Then one day it changed.
As a voracious reader, I was content to read what others wrote. I admired those writers who had mastered the craft. I was happy to dwell in their world for 300 pages, to laugh, cry, and be enlightened and surprised. Until one day when I closed a book by my favorite author and felt something was missing. The novel was a mystery/suspense with elements of romance. The suspense was killer. The romance, however, was lacking, missing those subtleties that resonated with me. I wanted more. The promise of romance was there, but fizzled somewhere along the way. For me, it wasn’t about graphic sex. It was about sexual tension, passion, love. After searching unsuccessfully for novels to satisfy my romantic suspense fixation, looking for just the right balance, I realized I had to write the book myself.
Only I knew nothing about writing a novel, let alone a genre book with a sub-genre. So I went to the library and checked out a reference book titled, HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL. Easy enough, right? If dedication is easy, then it was easy because I was driven. My artist’s passion shifted to focus on the writer’s canvas. That canvas was structure, words, emotion, and truth. And the rest is history.
I burned up two electric typewriters before investing in a computer. I checked out every book on the “book writing” reference shelf, and many grammar and stylebooks, and two years later, my 800-page opus, NIGHT STALKER, was finished—
I learned about the important shaping process, without which most stories would be unreadable. Editing. The passion and pain of cutting and revising. Finding the jewels that lie buried in too many misguided words. Three years and a dozen revisions later, 400 pages lighter, it found a home with a traditional publisher. Within the first few months of release, it went into three printings and became the flagship for the sub-genre “Woman in Jeopardy/Romantic Suspense” at Kensington Publishing.
Where it started. . .
I left school at sixteen to marry my high school sweetheart. Six years later, as a housewife and mother, I channeled my artistic talent into sketching and painting, selling my work at a local art gallery. A quarter century later, I traded in my paints and brushes to hit the keyboard. Our three sons, not much for novel reading, are waiting for my books to be made into movies. That childhood sweetheart I married a lifetime ago is now my soul mate of 50 plus years. His encouragement fueled me, and his support allowed me to pursue my goals.
Going back to my motto of, “if I can do it, anyone can.” There has never been a more opportunistic time to try your hand at writing a book. Or taking the plunge and self-publishing. My decision to self-publish my upcoming suspense novels came about when I hit the proverbial brick wall after five published books. With a stalled career, I had a choice. Teach, or see my stories in print again. I chose the latter. My first self-published book is the short story trilogy, BROKEN JUSTICE, followed by my suspense novel, NIGHT WIDOW.
Agents and editors think they know what readers want. They don’t always know. Readers know what readers want, and they’re expressing their wants by buying books written by indie authors. Give yourself a hardy pat on the back if you’ve completed a manuscript, but the big applause goes to our devoted fans and readers. Without them, we would be nothing.
It is inspirational to read about your determination. I agree with you that readers know what readers want.
Another inspiring Indie Chick success story!
*clap clap clap* *grins*
Yeah another high school couple that’s still togther (my in-laws are also such a pair). That’s the kind of love that I love. :}
Not to mention the fat you went into it so late give me hope that I can do the same thing if I’m dedicated enough. Thanks for the inspiration.
:} Cathryn / Elorithryn
Prue, Thanks for sharing Carol’s story. I am so happy for her in her marriage. The one thing I learned about love after interviewing over 500 men for my Love Investigator book is that the happiest marriages are those that began in high school. Our first loves are our strongest imprint.
Thank you, Carol. The words evidenced by Prue are real gold.
We should learn to trust our readers! 🙂
Best (to both)