Sell Them What They Want to Buy

Picture 043“Sell them what they want to buy and in just the way they want to buy it.” – Samuel Crowther, The Romance and Rise of the American Tropics

Finding a market for your work is kind of like finding a man worthy of your love–a difficult, time-consuming and SOMETIMES a disappointing failure.

Popular tastes change. In a 1959 romance, our hero might be a gas station attendant with $5 dollars in his pocket and the big dream of putting a downpayment on a trailer once he’s finished helping his older brother through college. Today’s audience of rabid romance readers would kick this guy to the can–and how. They want someone a bit more–well, let’s be frank–rich. A wealthy man can provide your heroine (and theirs) with everything her acquisitive little heart desires.

Divorced/single women readers like second-chance novels, where the heroine reconnects with a long lost love from a dozen years ago, who heartily regrets her loss and wants to make up for it with mega hot sex and expensive dinner dates. Naturally, he’s started his own business and is making more money then he knows what to do with. All he needs in his life is the girl he loves (or the boy he loves, if you’re writing gay fiction) to achieve perfect happiness.

Curvy women readers have apparently developed a taste for muscle-bound hunks who shift, in their off hours, into lumbering grizzlies and a number of other interesting zoological specimens. The love of their heroine’s life is not hung up about body image, because his own body changes on a daily/monthly basis.

We could go on at some length about the needs of our readers. It is enough to say–satisfy them, and you have a market.

While no writer should ever chase a market, be aware of what market you are writing for. Check out other books in your genre. While your plot should be refreshingly different, it should have all of the basic elements necessary to the best stories that genre contains.

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