But perhaps you're wondering, like me, isn't it enough to focus on writing a break-out novel? If we write with all of the passion inside of us and we channel it into an incredibly well-written story, won't that be enough to get us published?
Doesn't an excellent, powerfully told novel trump the market trends? And why worry about what's saleable when trends change? Aren't we suppose to find a fresh idea and look for a story that will help us stand out from the crowd?
We throw up our hands in confusion and scream, "What's a new author to do?"
Here's my humble opinion. New authors should be smart about the market. BUT then we need to work on writing the break-out novel. We need to put into practice all of the principles and craft techniques that make a story stand out and succeed.
We can't predict what an editor or publishing house will be looking for by the time our books reach them. But if we spin an unforgettable, dazzling story, then we will have the chance of catching the attention of agents and editors, even if factors within the story are less marketable.
My conclusion: Pay attention to what can help our books build a large readership, the break-in factor, AND find ways to make our books rise above the competition, the breakout factor. The combination of both is key to for new authors to succeed in today's crowded marketplace.
I've given you my opinion about break-in versus break-out. Now I'd love to hear yours. Which do you think is more important for a new author and why?