for the Creatives

Sorry, but there’s no market for your idea…

Many artists, entrepreneurs, and dreamers hear that there’s no market for their dream. It’s dire, folks, but here’s some hope for ya.

Psst! I heard that some odd sort of people prefer watching videos over reading articles. Super weird. But weird people are my type of people, so I made a video preview of this blogpost. Now you can go watch the great quirky awkwardness of me instead of reading my awkwardness in blogpost form. 

 

So I was walking through Barnes and Noble and stumbled across these books:

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They were on the shelves in the front, the money-maker shelves. You know what I’m talking about, the shelves that mean publishers have bought into this book, that have said “Yes, these will make money, put them prominently on display for all to see!” Those kind of books.

But these aren’t your typical money-maker books.

Exhibit A: poetry.

Let’s be real, I totally judge books by covers, and I bought “The princess saves herself in this one” without even opening it. But when I did open it, I found poetry. A story in poetry form.

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Poets are notorious examples of being told “there’s no market for your work.” When’s the last time you read poetry from a book? Probably high school. Poets are told they’ll only get interest on cutesy Instagram or Facebook images, and they’ll never get a publishing deal, and if they self-publish, they’ll never have any readers. Yet Amanda Lovelace, I don’t think she listened to that. At least not entirely. Because she wrote poetry and convinced probably an agent and a publisher that her work was worth front shelf placement at Barnes and Noble.

Exhibit B: Cartoon drawings with bad spelling, for adults not kids.

Like seriously, how do you pitch THAT to an agent or publisher? Got me! I’m still trying to figure out how to describe it on a blogpost.

It’s a book of cartoon drawings. An alien comes to earth to study humans, but the alien is bad at spelling and grammar so the book is full of cutesy misspellings, and the alien is actually befriending non-humans like rocks and animals and trees, but it’s insightful and philosophical into what actually makes us human. Oh yeah, it’s not a children’s book, it’s for grown-ups.

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Okay, I have no idea how he pitched it, probably better than me, but I’m just saying if your dream sounds crazy, you’re in good Barnes-and-Noble-front-shelf company.

 

The business guy top secret insight:

After posting that Facebook video about these books, my business school brother messaged something insightful.

I had mentioned that poets often hear stuff like, “Nobody buys poetry anymore, they only read it on cutesy Facebook or Instagram posts.” I had said these authors didn’t listen to that negativity.

My brother noted my claim isn’t quite correct. They did listen to that. They noticed where the audience was and went to it. Amanda Lovelace started on Tumblr before ever being published, and I heard that Jomny Sun was on Twitter before being published. They both went to their market to get their big break. You can find your market and build interest now, too.

There’s a step in the right direction for ya. Past the dreaming and onto a practical tip. This is why my bro will make the big bucks ūüėČ

for the Writers, Musings

My #1 Hit Single

I’m not sure how this happened. Adele’s song “Hello” just went down to #2 on the Billboard chart, beat out of the #1 slot by Justin Bieber’s “Sorry.” Justin Bieber isn’t *that* great, certainly can’t compare to Adele. I mean, even I could create a song better than that – I just don’t have the time. If I had the time, I’d whip out my instruments, have a record deal, a tour, and a #1 hit single in no time, give Adele & Bieber a run for their money.

What, you think I’m crazy?¬†

I’ve had music lessons – piano, guitar, violin, and voice. Plus I sing allllll the time in the car and Glee is my favorite TV show.¬†

Still think I’m psycho?¬†

I’m telling you, I’d have a #1 Hit Single if I just had the time.¬†

I could so do that. 

Okay, none of that is true, we all know that. It takes a whole lot more than having general music knowledge to make it big. First off, I’m not necessarily skilled just because I learned some music. Secondly, once I am skilled, it takes a whole lot of knowledge about the business world of music just to get noticed, let alone succeed with a record deal, concert, and/or hit single. Newsflash: Adele & Bieber & anyone you hear on the radio had to work hard to make it! Not just anyone can do it. Right?

So that up there? Psycho wannabe popstar? Not me. But it’s a whole bunch of people out in this world, only I’m not talking about the music world. I’m talking about the writing world.

“I’ve been told I should write a book – I just don’t have the time.”

“I’ve always wanted to write the next NYT Bestseller, I’m just too busy.”

I’m going to say something you might disagree with….¬†You can’t write that book!

At least not now. Just because you aced High School English doesn’t mean you can write a book. There’s rules that don’t apply to academic English you have to learn. There’s lots of practice to make your great story idea into an actually readable masterpiece that reads like what you imagine in your headspace. And even once you have studied and practiced and finally finished¬†that manuscript, there’s a whole lot about the writing business you have to learn/know to make it big, in addition to a hint of luck.

Think you have what it takes to be a writer? Then make the time and do it. Learn. Practice. Grow.

Otherwise, let me break it to you – you cannot write the next bestseller if you have the time. It takes a whole lot more than just time to get there. Just because you have a great story doesn’t mean you have a great book. And it’s okay if you don’t have that. Because maybe you have what it takes to make the next Billboard #1 Hit Single – something I don’t have.

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