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Writing to Market vs. Heart Driven Stories

Heart Driven vs. Writing to Market
Posted by Autumn Stone
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If you’re new to romance writing you may have heard other authors talk about writing to market versus writing something that may be a little more heart driven. It’s my opinion that there is room in your writing career to do both but that you may need to have different expectations for the different projects.

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Writing to Market

What exactly is this? It’s writing exactly what you know your readers want. For example, if you’ve established that you write western romances that follow a certain formula that readers love-that’s writing to market. Basically, you’re writing for a proven audience who wants what they want. Deviating from that formula would not end well.

This type of writing might not come naturally to everyone and that’s where heart-driven romance comes in. What if you have a story that you’re itching to share but it has nothing to do with the stories that you’ve previously shared. Or, your story deviates from the tried and true formula.

Writing to market can be very lucrative but it may become challenging for the author to do over an extended period of time. For me, I write both to market and heart driven books and by doing that I stay engaged in my creative process.

What should you do?

Sometimes there are stories that authors just feel compelled to share. Resisting that urge may also affect your ability to write your other books. Here’s some steps that you can take to make sure that you don’t upset your current fans.

  • Market research-is there interest (in general) for this type of book?
  • Grow an email list specifically for the heart driven book. Let readers opt-in and decide to be a part of that world.
    • Be clear on that opt-in about what type of book it is, why you’re excited to write it and your hope for the book.
  • Create a new pen name for that book-This choice creates some other issues such as:
    • Do you need social media for this profile?
    • Do you need a simple website?
    • How to nurture this profile?
  • Be clear about what the book is about. Again, allowing readers to opt-out through personal choice
  • Remember that many readers enjoy different book genres. I read a ton of different genres so I am the type of reader who wouldn’t be turned off by an author trying out something new.

Author’s Choice

Sometimes the heart wants what it wants. As a creative authors may feel the urge to explore different areas or stories in order to stay creative. You make the rules around your writing career. Here are some final thoughts:

  • Writing is personal
  • You may repeal or attract your ideal readers to your different books. Be prepared for that reality regardless if you decide to write a heart driven book or not.
  • You can’t make everyone happy.
  • Understand what your end goal is for your different books.
  • Sometimes the risk that you take may open up new doors.

There a large number of romance authors who are multi-passionate and have a number of different stories that they would like to share. If you find yourself in this group, don’t hold back. Share your stories!

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Thank you for listening and supporting Let’s Talk Romance with Autumn Stone. I love having conversations with authors creating stories for characters of color and the people who read them. If you enjoyed this episode please “Buy Me a Coffee.” This support helps to cover the cost of running the show.

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