Mary has sold many millions of copies of her books. There are authors who make such claims; Mary really has sold that many. However tremendous sales do not guarantee happiness and Mary is not happy. She wants to throw out the old and dive into the new but she has fans worldwide who have already told her, in no uncertain terms, that they are pining for her next book, craving it, even living for it.
We meet near her Fifth Avenue penthouse apartment on a bench near a hotdog stand. In front of us is the wall guarding Central Park. Together we plot the murder of the character that has made her fortune; and how she might defend herself when she is put on trial afterwards. We are as serious as if we are plotting a real murder and planning for a real trial. Because this is serious business: not giving people what they want.
Are you giving people what they want with your art? Your answer might be, “I don’t know. Who knows what people actually want?” Your answer might be, “Absolutely not! I give people what I want to say, not what they want!” Your answer might be, “Sort of, but they still don’t seem to want to buy!” However you answer such a question, it is one that you really need to ask yourself.
There are many, many possible answers, including the answer that you will do exactly what you think and then convince people that they want it! But whatever answer you come up with, you won’t have a chance to engage in what might prove a tremendously useful fruitful chat with yourself if you don’t ask yourself the question first.
I’m in the camp of doing what I want and then accepting that my market will be smaller (and more select <smile>) than if I gave people what they wanted. For instance, an excellent novel of mine just came out (from Motivational Press), a suspense novel called Settled, in which I chart one man’s efforts to create a second Israel in a safer location. This is not an idea that a lot of people want to hear! But that certainly didn’t stop me from writing a novel that I knew would be good and that I wanted write.
By the way, please take a look at the great reviews that Settled is getting:
How will you answer the question, “I am giving people what they want?” Just as importantly, are you willing to ask yourself the question? I hope that you will!
Eric Maisel’s new novel is Settled. To learn more about it: