This post is by Nancy Jardine
Writing novels is an emotionally exhausting business, isn’t it?
Well, to be more precise it’s truly the marketing of a novel that’s the draining factor- for me, anyway. When it gets to the book launch phase, I’ve forgotten all the time involved in the writing of the story, and I’ve largely forgotten the emotional energy I expended in creating my characters. I don’t worry, though, because as soon as I properly get back into new writing I’ll be back on that boat and that emotionally hyped-up/balanced with a wrung-out feeling will probably float along with me and my characters till the end is typed on the book.
Those who know me via this Writing Wranglers blog will know that over a period of the last 11 weeks I’ve had 1 totally new book launch, and 2 re-launches of contemporary novels with a second publisher. Yesterday was the third of those Facebook Party ‘launches’ and I’m now looking forward to getting on with new writing.
The fact that I’ve nothing in the pipeline that’s remotely near publishing on Amazon, I have to admit, is actually a relief and yet some bloggers might say that’s what I’m doing wrong– that’s why my books aren’t selling like hotcakes.
Get as many books launched and marketed, and then get yet more books made available as soon as possible! Those marketing ploys are part of the Social Experience of reading and writing a novel, they say.
But what is this full Social Experience?
Some authors who write series book can churn out loads of books in a short time span. I personally know a couple of very successful author colleagues at Crooked Cat Publishing who can do this and they’re now at around book 10 in their crime series – written over just the last couple of years (David W. Robinson/cosy crime and Catriona King/police procedural). They’ve each generated a large following who love to read more of their protagonists who appear in new ‘cases’. They have clearly managed to hook in a good client base of readers for their work but I also know that they write tirelessly and deserve every bit of their popularity!
So, what is it that readers really want to read and what is most emotionally important to them? What engages them more and makes them be different afterwards as a result of the reading?
Seriously big Questions.
I don’t hold much sway with all of the Neuro-scientific data that’s produced about reader preferences and lasting impressions left by particular books—mainly because that data might be presented differently in a few years time—but I do like the idea that’s being mooted in some of these articles that good ‘literary’ fiction has a completely different effect on a person than the reading of non-fiction or ‘pop-fiction’. (I’m not personally fond of the use here of the word ‘literary’ but they use it in a very broad general way)
Some of these neuro scientific studies done on children are very interesting and quite encouraging. Though done on a small percentage of readers the results show that engaging the emotions of younger readers in a lasting way is incredibly important and will hopefully remain a positive factor in the future development of those people.
Expanding that younger reader market would be marvellous if, in time, it leads to a greater number of generally more empathetic adults. This article HERE has some interesting aspects.
Some of these neurological studies are indicating that people in general who read ‘better/literary’ fiction (not the more poorly written fad of the month or year) can become more empathetic themselves as a result of fully engaging with characters – if the story really does expand on character development and displays believable characters, flaws and all. Stories which challenge the reader in some way, they say, can leave more lasting effects.
This HERE is another site on the topic.
Some classics are heralded as being able to engage the emotions better in readers, than transitory ‘popular’ fiction. But what is it about their quality which has made those books classics? Is it merely a timelessness to the stories, or parallels with the ‘evils and good bits’ of daily life?
Or was it serious time investment by the author in creating more profound settings and emotionally charged characters in those environments?
Whatever those huge answers are—new novels can become classics given time. (The Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling are now classified as classics by many but they didn’t exist a few decades ago.)
Partly due to expanding internet sales we now have an immense fiction market out there but the books can be hard to find. So…Do we have to increase the global reader market first to fully appreciate what’s currently available to the public? Another site of possible interest is HERE.
More big questions.
I know what I’ll be doing soon. I’ve tried hard so far to give my stories a timeless feel to surroundings and events (even though some of my novels are clearly rooted in particular historical eras) and I’ll be trying very hard in my new writing to invest my characters with emotionally believable traits which will affect the reader.
On the other hand, I also consider myself as part of the reading fraternity who just plain like to be entertained by a book and its lasting effect doesn’t matter to me- except… am I subliminally drawn to those which do ‘improve’ me in some way? Is that why I chose the books I want to read from the multitudes on Amazon and other places? Mmmm..I have to think a bit more.
How about you? How do you feel about these neuro- scientific studies? And what floats your boat? (insert smiley face here)
Have a nice weekend!
Buy her latest- Take Me Now – from Amazon at the special launch price of 99p/ $.50
Amazon Author page for all novels