Quick Tip – At the Start of a Project

If you are bursting with ideas and ready to start a new project I have a tip for you. If you’re midway through a project or just finished first draft, this tip might be a little too late. Be warned. Don’t read any further if you can’t bear a drop of discouragement.

Before you start a project, when there’s still an opportunity to plot, character develop, create a world, take some time and go to Barnes and Noble website.

Choose the category “Fiction” then ‘new releases’ then filter ‘oldest to newest’. What do you find? First of all, the oldest new releases in over 8000 fiction titles. They are old as in ‘released in September’ of this year.

After that fact hits you’re brain squarely, start scrolling through the titles. Check out the genres, the cover art, the lack of any “stars” or Reviews. These are the dregs of the new releases. Those that somehow made it on the roster of B&N and that’s their only claim to fame.

I should not be such a snob since these writers have gotten further than I although truth be told, the ones I spot checked were found to be vanity press published. Not until 900 titles in were traditionally published novels posted.

But okay, the point of this exercise is not to be dismayed by how many books are being released with a good chunk of them already established authors like James Peterson and Nora Roberts but, to read the short blurbs. If you view in grid mode you can scan through several. Some themes and patterns will rise to the top. What’s selling now? What direction do stories seem to be going in? What’s not selling? What short descriptions sound sophomoric and corny? It’s a great place to absorb information and then….

Plan the project that will slide right into what’s going on in the publishing world with hopefully a skip ahead of the crest of the wave to pick up the next way the tide goes.

And if this tip finds you already project committed (as it did me), then learn the best way to write your query short description and maybe find some comps in the midst. Not too mention that reading about other authors and what reviewers are saying also educates.

Write on! But maybe research a little first if you can!

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