Should you change what you're doing? If so, how?


I get to talk to a lot of writers. In the last year, there has been much discussion amongst them of the worldwide pandemic and how that might or might not have affected their careers. Some writers wonder whether their works have any appeal any more, given that so much has changed in the world over the last fifteen months or so. The big question that many ask is ‘Should I change something about what I’m doing in order to achieve more success?’

Take a look at what you’re writing.

At its core, your expertise and preferences and strengths aren’t going to change much, and they shouldn’t. You’ve spent years building your passions, your areas of creativity, the stories and characters that you love — now is probably not the time to change course and start learning how to switch from writing romantic detective novels to dystopic science fiction, just because you see a growing opportunity in the market.

But it may be time to structure how you offer your work to potential readers.

You need to meet your readers where they are, and, to the best of your ability, fulfil their immediate needs.

Start by asking yourself the following questions:

Who is your audience? Not ‘How many people can I get to read my book?’ but who are your readers as opposed to ‘the readers of the world’?

What is the biggest desire immediately in front of that specific group of readers right now? I don’t mean ‘a desire for a good story’ — I mean what is it that your readers really want from your kind of story?

What stories do you have to help them realise those desires?

How exactly will your fiction help them achieve the emotional fulfilment they seek?

Then look at your current works and ask yourself the following:

How might you rearrange your books or output, so it’s easier for your exact audience to find?

Are there pieces of your existing work which could be broken off the main body and developed into stories of their own?

Can you strengthen the core of your stories to better fulfil your audience’s desires?

Do you have stories that apply better to a different audience in the world’s current circumstances?

How can you adjust your work so that it is more available online?

Is there a segment of the reading population you’ve never thought to work with that might adore your work?

Need help? I run a Marketing Programme tailor-made for writers. Email me anytime: grant@clarendonhousebooks.com

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