Guest Post

art by Richard Anderson

My first epic fantasy novel, The Mirror Empire, came out this month. It was one of over 300 other science fiction and fantasy books that came out this month. That doesn’t count self-published titles. It also doesn’t count the other story media vying for our attention today – new video games, television shows, and movies. The world is a noisy place, and the reality is that it’s very rare for any type of work to rise above the noise and capture enough attention to make its creator and development team a living, let alone a fortune.

This is a struggle every creator faces. Market factors often limit the type of work we see long before we see it, of course. Publishers like to bet on horses who have already won races, or who produce work very like work that’s already generated money. A few new and challenging works can get in, subsidized by the more marketable work, but for the most part, the fiction you’re served every month has already been through a brutal process of attrition.

And that limitation begins here, at the keyboard, on the page, with the writer and our impression of what “sells,” what’s “marketable” or what we “should” be doing.

I know this limitation because it’s one I’ve faced every time I sit down to write. < Read More >