Literary Gatekeepers and “Trends”

Great new interview with highly successful indie author Denise Grover Swank over at Simon Whistler’s Rocking Self Publishing podcast. The interview covers a lot of ground, with the primary focus being Swank’s three-part post Business Plans for Self-Published Authors.

I’m sure there’s a lot of good advice in the business plan, which I haven’t read yet.  I will be interested to see how much of it applies to literary fiction, which comes with its own set of marketing challenges.

One of the interesting parts of the interviews came when she described her early efforts submitting her work to agents. Several of them liked her book but didn’t think they could sell it because the “paranormal trend” was on the decline.

Huh??? Wha???

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Hasn’t Steven King been writing paranormal books for forty years? Year after year, book after book – if he and his many counterparts haven’t saturated the market, then who’s to say the market could ever be saturated? How many agents and publishers say, “Eh, there’s no market anymore for [westerns, stories set in outer space, literary erotica, vampire books, Scandinavian mysteries]” and then along comes a writer with a great book that destroys the conventional wisdom.

Luckily, Swank and her readers were able to find one another, in spite of the so-called experts in six-month “trends.”

5 thoughts on “Literary Gatekeepers and “Trends”

  1. Absolutely! It’s fantastic that self-publishing allows an author to go direct to the readers and let the market decide whether there is a demand or not. The gatekeepers are often proven wrong and Denise was not the first guest to have found this out. Thanks for listening to the show :).

    Simon W


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