Wednesday, August 3, 2022

#IWSG and Giving Readers What They Want


It's Insecure Writer's Support Group day! If you'd like to join, GO HERE. 

The awesome co-hosts for the August 3 posting of the IWSG are Tara Tyler, Lisa Buie Collard, Loni Townsend, and Lee Lowery! Also, many thanks to our host, Alex Cavanaugh.  

The optional question for August 3: When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want? 

Hmmm, I don't do either. Generally I get an idea about a story and then I go with it because it's what I want to write. I don't think about if it's original or not, or whether it's what the readers want. 

Which brings up something interesting. I recently took a free seminar in which the instructor basically said not to write what you want, but what the readers expect. Deliver the book that you promised and the books will sell themselves. No ads or social media required. 

I know, I know, hard to believe. 

But I get what she was saying. Design the book to sell itself. Readers are looking for certain things within the genre and we need to give it to them. The genre/subgenre tropes, the title, the description, delivery of the promised hook, the plot points, the stakes. 

Deliver to the reader what they want, and via word of mouth, the books will sell themselves. Huh. 

Easier said than done, to be sure. But thinking on it, this could be why my books don't sell. They are not designed properly, because I don't hit all the expected marks. I mean, I read Save the Cat so this shouldn't be a revelation to me, but it kind of is. Because I'm still writing what I want, rather than treating writing books like a business out to make money. 

Don't get me wrong, we should all write what we want. But I think I can do both if I put my mind to it.

Do you pay particular attention to the tropes/plot points, etc., so that they fall where they should?

Or do you just write and let things fall where they may?

What are your thoughts on books selling themselves?


  1. Happy IWSG day! I do think there is a balance. We have to find passion in what we write, but to me if we want others to read it, it must also mean something to them :)

    Free seminars are always wonderful!

  2. It's a balancing act. But sometimes giving the reader exactly what he wants isn't what we want.

  3. I agree with Alex on it being a balancing act. You have to write what you want but be sure you follow certain expectations for the genre you're writing in.

  4. I think you hit the marks. I love your Indigo series.

  5. Great points to consider! I think the balance is the hard part.

  6. Very insightful answer. Better than mine. Yes, the best books do both.

  7. I think both giving the audience what they want and being original can work. I Attempt to do it all the time.

  8. I think you are on point with the Indigo stories, which are unique cozy mysteries.

  9. I read your book. It was a good story!! I'm not buying the selling themselves. Every writer I've ever known who got "lucky" enough to sell a bunch of books worked their butts off doing it. I can't recall a single one whose books sold themselves. It's that kind of thinking that creeps in under my skin and makes me lose all faith. I think-- if my stories were good, they'd sell themselves.

    You're a good writer. I really enjoyed the story. I hope I reviewed it...I'm so lazy some days...I will have to check and be sure. But get writing!!!

  10. Good luck with the book, Gwen, always delightful to see Shrewsbury used and mentioned, keep going! x

  11. Hi Gwen! Your email address bounced when I sent your royalty statement. Please send me your new one.


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