This particular post could make or break my chances of being a published writer. That being said, it’s time to use the ol’ baseball slang and “swing for the fences.”
I truly believe that a lot of readers are ready for an escape from reality by reading, well, reality…fiction, that is.
The term “reality fiction” refers to a work based, in large part, on real events. Such stories could also be described as “meta-fiction,” but “reality fiction” takes more of a dramatic license, where “meta-fiction” tends to be much more closely aligned with the facts behind the story. Reality fiction is where my manuscripts fall; they are based on real events, but fair amount of dramatic license is taken in order to differentiate the story from the actual event, making the story itself stand alone, yet still be plausible for the real world.
Of course, the question of “what sets this work apart from other titles out there” is what helps publishers make up their minds as to whether or not to offer a contract to an author.
The answer to that question comes down to sheer numbers; the difference in the quantity of fantasy fiction titles as opposed to reality fiction is a chasm. While some say this is the sign of a healthy market for fantasy, I contend it portends to market saturation, to the point of diminishing returns for any publisher. Yes, there is a plethora as fantasy fiction out there – it is a billion dollar empire. Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Twilight and near-infinite variety of Star Wars titles have created an extremely competitive marketplace for any new fantasy author, let alone creative a crack for a reality fiction author to squeeze through. This is where reality fiction shines; though it sounds contradictory, reality fiction offers us all the chance to escape in a fresh, new way.
The fact is publishers, like any other entertainment-related executive, are looking for that “next big thing;” that special author who has an “x factor” to them which separates their work from the rest of the pack, but this desire contradicts the risk-averse nature of the traditional publishing business. A patient author and agent will give the publishing industry a chance to figure out how to market a work, then make an offer. Many times, a publisher will balk at a potential blockbuster not out of a lack of interest, but because they simply do not know how to market the work. This is where there author’s ability to market is essential.
That’s what sets me apart from other authors. I am willing to market, willing to engage readers, publishers, publicists and media. Having worked in the media, I understand the mentality necessary to engage the public in a dialogue, and to hold their attention. Rather than shy away from readers and be reclusive and sphinx-like, I enjoy the pressure of attention; I thrive in it. To me, it is not about the paycheck, or the book signings, or the fame (though that is nice); it is all about seeing that my work captured the imagination of a reader. It’s about being able to answer a reader’s question, take their criticism, and thank them for simply giving my writing chance to entertain and, perhaps, inspire them.
It is the rare author who possesses the drive, determination, creativity, and desire to be willing to jump so far out on a limb that said author is willing to risk a fall and proverbial critical career injury in work to reach the highest, sweetest fruit of the tree. That is what this post is intended to do; give a publisher, a friend of a publisher, or someone similar a chance to peer inside my head and see the heart, soul, brains and simply desire within me. This much I will guarantee; the publisher who takes the chance on me and works with agent towards an agreeable contract will have an author who is willing to do whatever it takes to make their investment in me something to smile about.
Yes, it’s shameless self-promotion, but at last check, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Of course, should you decide this attitude is what you are looking for in an author and you are currently discussing my work with the Gilbert Literary Agency, I will consider this post a risk well taken. Thank you for your consideration.