Have you ever wondered if your story has any fans out there? Maybe you’re writing in a niche genre, or more often than not, you were told that “that topic is so old, no one reads it anymore.” Well, that’s not exactly true. Every niche, no matter how small, has an audience, and most stories are evergreen, they just come and go in cycles.

In this episode, I’m going to talk about why you should avoid writing to the market and write what you truly want to right, and how it can benefit you in the future. Just because Zombies are played out right now, doesn’t mean they will be forever.

The podcast is brought to you by Steam Powered Dreams Publishing but paid for out of my own pocket. If you’d like to show your support, there are many different ways to do it:

As always, below is a direct copy of the show notes. They were written before the episode was recorded but are here for reference and SEO.


Topic: Evergreen Stories and Stale Stories

 

  • Some stories stay golden forever, while others go viral and then tend to fade pretty quickly, but how do you know which is which?
  • And maybe more importantly, how do you plan your story around this type of ever-changing market?
  • Hello everyone, I’m Jeremy Collier, this is episode 4 of the Authorpreneur Mindset and today we’ll be talking about the difference between trends and evergreen stories.
  • But before we start that, I wanted to give a quick update about what’s been going on. A lot of changes are in the works for Steam Powered Dreams, most of which are happening out of necessity rather than choice. I have had to take a step back from my full-ahead plan I had originally started, but that doesn’t mean things will really change on the outside.
  • In fact, it should mean more consistent content coming out of us, both on our website, in your email, and on this show, so that is a good thing.
  • Also, I am happy to announce that I have completed the first interview for this podcast and that will be in Episode 6. It’s a very inspirational interview, so make sure you catch that one.
  • Also, I wanted to remind everyone that I’m offering discounts to listeners of this podcast for my Websites for Writers service. You can use the discount code Podcast to save 15%, but the true value comes from the fact that our prices are already significantly less money than others who offer a similar service. To get there, just go to websites.steampowereddreams.com
  • Even if you’re not looking for a website right now but want to help support the show, spread the word and let others know about this wonderful service
  • Or you could head over to our Patreon and pledge as little as $2 a month. You can find that at steampowereddreams.com/patreon
  • With all that out of the way, let’s get into the topic.
  • Today’s topic comes from Jennifer Quick and is an interesting one I’ve put a lot of thought into.  She asks “I was told that certain genres just aren’t being looked at right now, ie werewolves. I had a freaking brilliant idea for a werewolf story that also tied into today’s deteriorating society in a subtle but eerie way. I understand that genres have a life span. That part I can very much get over. However, what boggles my mind is what was said afterward. “Publishers already know what they are looking for over the next SEVERAL years. If you don’t fit their search, don’t even bother trying.”
  • And the quick answer is that this is both true and not so true at the same time.
  • The publishing industry, especially in its current state, is changing faster than any publisher can keep up with.
  • In fact, more and more, the indie scene is dictating what direction things go in, rather than the big publishers.
  • This is because it isn’t unheard of for an indie to publish 2, 3, even 4 books a year, where it takes traditionally published authors at least a year to publish one, if not longer.
  • It is true that some sub-genres are just fads that go away and never come back, but those are rare.
  • More common are those that are evergreen, but come and go in a cycle.
  • Let’s use your werewolf story as an example.
  • Much like vampires, they became hot in the early 2000’s thanks to Twilight but have since started to fade away.
  • This is mostly due to the fact that everyone is trying to write to the market.  You wouldn’t believe how many Twilight rip-offs there are out there right now, some much better than the original, but most just sloppy and written specifically for the market.
  • This dilutes the sub-genre and it quickly gets played out.
  • What’s the next big thing?  There’s no way to be sure, though publishers do try to predict what will be the hot thing in 2-3 years. But, again, as fast as things change today, it’s nearly impossible.
  • A movie may come out that sparks people’s interest in a topic, or a video game, or even a book, and then that’s the newest and best thing.  
  • Then hundreds of writers-for-hire (or people paying ghostwriters in hopes of cashing in) will flock to the computer and write in that genre until it’s saturated and no one wants to read it.
  • These people will become wealthy for a while and probably switch to a new genre as soon as it’s hot, repeating the process over and over.
  • It can be a bit daunting, But don’t worry, not all hope is lost.  
  • There’s a reason it’s not recommended to write to the market because if you do, you may never write what YOU Want to write and you will be constantly changing what you write.
  • Topics like werewolves, vampires, aliens, elves, magic, space travel, and hundreds more will always resurface, and that’s why a person passionate about writing doesn’t write to the market but rather writes whatever they want to.
  • When Twilight came out, sales of Ann Rice’s Interview With A Vampire skyrocketed to levels that it hadn’t since the early 90’s when the movie first came out, and that wasn’t the first time that happened.
  • That book has had huge sales spikes multiple times since it was written in 1976 because it is a good book and the topic has cycled around more than once.
  • There is something I want to clarify, though. While a publisher won’t turn down a good book just because the sub-genre is “stale”, it is harder to get published, and this is why many people turn to self-publishing when they’re writing in a stale genre. This doesn’t mean don’t try to go the traditional route if that’s what you want, but you might find it much better for you, and your future, to self-publish.
  • So, in the end, it comes down to thinking about the long term, thinking about the future. If you want to write a werewolf story right now, it may not sell much this year or even in the next 5 years.  But, if it’s a good book, there will come a time when werewolves are the hot thing and you will have an advantage because it’s already out there.
  • I hope this helps answer your questions, Jennifer.
  • If you have questions, there are three ways to reach me.  The first is through the website at steampowereddreams.com/authorpreneurmindset and then click on Ask A Question.
  • The second is to join our facebook group at facebook.com/SPDwritershelpingwriters
  • The third is by contacting me directly
    • on Twitter at SoulScribbler,
    • on Instagram at authorpreneurmindset
    • on Facebook at facebook.com/jeremylcollier
  • Until next week, I am your host Jeremy and don’t forget to keep moving forward.

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