Chasing the Best Seller

A successful life is one that is lived through understanding and pursuing one’s own path, not chasing after the dreams of others.
Chin-Ning Chu

Why is everyone chasing the erotica writing train?  The E.L. James trilogy has sparked a flood of ‘real life‘ and fictional versions. Tittered about in book clubs, discussed ad nauseum in publishing forums, several of this ‘literary’ persuasion populates the bestseller’s lists.

I understand that everyone needs to be titillated, I prefer to let my imagination fill in the frame work provided by the author.  For me, it’s much more satisfying.

The pattern seems to be the same, one author strikes it big and we have a flood of similar material.  I sound as though I begrudge these authors their 5 minutes in the sun and, in the case of some, boat loads of shekels. I don’t.  Chasing someone else’s success by replicating their topics, genres and styles only hurts you as a writer. If you want to write an erotic romp, go ahead.  Just be sure you are writing it for the correct reasons.  Don’t do it because it’s selling, do it because you are passionate about it.

I write fantasy, sci-fi, post-apocalyptic fiction.  Those markets happens to have a wide following.  If I were to write niche fiction about the exotic fungus found at the base of a volcano in the Himalayas, my market would be very  limited. A niche market is not a bad place to be, the limits involved need to be understood.

Do I hope to have my name on the best seller‘s list? Absolutely, but I won’t imitate another author. I will be inspired by them and I will learn from their techniques, but I won’t become them.  It’s creepy.

The solid truth is that I am not the other author. I am me.  My voice is unique and waiting to be heard/read by others.

While I won’ t be writing the next erotic best seller (ew), I will be chasing my own success by telling my stories and staying true to myself.

About Leila

I hail from the East and view the world as my playground. I'm opinionated. My dog is my co-pilot, but my cat navigates better. I'm only limited by my imagination. While there are terrible things that happen in the world I am responsible for making good things happen where I live, and that affects the world at large making it a better place.

Posted on July 12, 2012, in Leila Gaskin, Publishing, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I want to be the writer that all the other writers are copying, not the other way around. I dabbled with the idea of writing some easy-read erotica, but that isn’t the kind of writer I am, so why would I do that? I agree with you entirely – we have to stay true to ourselves. Although making a nice profit off of our true selves doesn’t hurt either :D

  2. I can only write like me. If I tried to follow the hot trends, I’d end up a day late and dollar short—as would 99.9% of writers. By the time we finished the work and made it good (that’s the kicker!), the trend would have passed. I write what I enjoy. I couldn’t do it any other way.

  3. I’m with you about writing your own stories. The crazy thing about E.L. James, is that it started off as fan fiction, emulating Stephenie Meyer – although it is fair to say she took it in her own direction! Good on those people who manage to connect to such a large audience. But I hope if I ever manage to attract so many readers, it will be with something that really reflects me as a writer.

  4. I want to find my own voice too and not to copy another author. We have to find our own uniqueness in our writing and find this bestseller already inscribed inside of our imagination… :)
    Great post!

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