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Should You Sacrifice the Art of Writing for Book Sales?

Writing Art Versus Book SalesDepending on who you ask, there’s never been a better time to be an author. Any writer with gumption can survive and even thrive in publishing. Agents and editors no longer have full say over which books are published. Readers vote with purchasing dollars on which books should rise to the top. The gatekeepers are dead; long live the gatekeepers.

The rush for ebook gold is on as volume after volume churns into a flooded market. Readers want gratification, and they must be appeased. A book release every three months is best. Editing? If the budget is slender, cut corners there. Everyone knows story trumps grammar. But don’t stint on marketing. You need to rise above the crowd somehow.  It’s best to pigeonhole your writing into a single genre. That way readers can find you more readily. Don’t forget to research and follow genre rules. Experimenting could cost you readers.

What we have these days is a buyer’s market. When that happens in real estate, homeowners hoping to sell outnumber buyers looking to purchase. In such a scenario, a buyer can ask for and receive all sorts of considerations. If a potential seller doesn’t comply, the buyer simply walks away knowing there are plenty of other options out there. In a buyer’s market, it takes a stalwart soul to sell at a fair price.

When buyers have more power than sellers it pressures writers to become artisans rather than artists, crafters rather than creators. There’s always been a healthy tension between writing as art and writing for money, but these days the balance is tipping more and more toward commercialism.

And yet, it can work the other way. Julie Cantrell, author of Into the Free, recently won both Christy and Book of the Year Awards. In this brief video, she explains how she achieved this success:

I write this post to raise an important question each writer must answer. Should you sacrifice writing art for book sales? 

Written by Janalyn Voigt

Janalyn Voigt

© Janalyn Voigt
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I’m Janalyn Voigt, an author, speaker, and former social media mentor. DawnSinger and Wayfarer, the first two books in my epic fantasy series, Tales of Faeraven, released with Pelican Book Group and will be followed by at least two more installments. I’m also working on a romantic suspense novel set in an Irish castle, but then historical fiction has a grip on me too. Being unabashedly multi-genre makes me into what some might term a reluctant rebel, but I prefer to think of myself as a storyteller.

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