This post, by Marsha Canham, originally appeared on Marsha Canham’s Blog on 4/3/11.
For those of you who may not have seen the recent blog by Connie Brockway over at All About Romance, it’s here http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=6169 In it Connie announces that she is excited to be joining the ebook Rogues, many of us who have been not only able to reissue our backlist books, which have not seen the light of day for decades in some cases, but who are exploring the opportunity to write the kind of books the publishers keep telling us “they” (meaning you the readers) just don’t want anymore. They (meaning the publishers) have this big crystal ball, you see, and they know that you, the readers, only want Regencies with drawing room stories and hot sex, or vampire books with hot sex, or paranormals with hot sex, or….wait. That’s all they (meaning the readers) want.
I went on hiatus six years ago because my proposal for the sequel to The Iron Rose was turned down flat. I was told pirate stories were not popular anymore, this despite the wild popularity of the Johnny Depp movies, Pirates of the Caribbean, and despite the fact The Iron Rose was one of my bestselling books and readers sent scads of emails asking when I was going to write a story for the brothers, Gabriel and Jonas.
Well guess what? Connie has had scads of mail over the years asking when she was going to write sequels to her bestselling books, All Through the Night and As You Desire. And she has wanted to write them. But why would she…or I…spend a year writing a book that the publisher’s won’t buy? As Connie says in the blog:
No one was or is going to buy a book from me that is set in Egypt. Or Italy. Or take a chance on my riff on the Tarzan story. And while my Facebook page poll on where readers want their books set told me loud and clear that the publishers are right, most readers do want their historical romance set in England, there’s that hallowed word “most” to consider. My core readers have never been “most” –otherwise I would have long ago sprung to the top of the bestseller list. I like to believe that my readers are picking up my books because they like my slightly different settings or characters or time periods.
Ditto ditto ditto. I was told years ago if I wanted to break out of the midlist crowd of authors, I had to sit myself down and write what the publisher wanted me to write…namely: Regencies. Books without so much action and adventure. Books that didn’t concentrate so much on the swashbuckling angle. Books that were shorter, less intense. Books that were character driven rather than plot driven. Books that readers could read in an evening…375 pages max, preferably large print. And don’t use too many big words. And fill it with hot sex.