Jun 23, 2013

Targeting Agents/Publishers

We all know that our manuscripts must please a publisher.  If an agent is queried first, the manuscript has to please the agent and the publisher.  Since the ultimate goal is to please the publisher, do you think it's smart to research a publisher's bookshelf and write a book to target their tastes?

As I complete a manuscript, and revise it a zillion times, I come to realize what the book is about.  Does my story teach a lesson?  If so, what type of lesson?  Is my story just a fun-loving, good time kind of story?  Does my story feature funny topics that children laugh at, such as body functions (peeing, pooping, etc..)?  Once I know these answers, I try to find publishers that handle books that are similar to mine.

But... what if the process were reversed?  What if I researched a publisher first, then wrote a story I believed they would take on?  Is that... bad?

Don't get me wrong, I'd never write a book I didn't enjoy writing.  But, there are times when I feel like I should write to a publishers liking and maybe I'll have an even better chance of getting published.   Once I can get published, maybe I can have more flexibility to publish other things I have written. It seems as though debut writers have to walk the tight rope until they are published.

So, what do you think?  Is it bad to write a story to just target a specific publisher?

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