Friday, 29 June 2012

Does My Genre Look Overcowded To You?

I don't know what Bram Stoker would have made of it. There was a time when Dracula ruled supreme but now wherever you look we appear to be knee deep in vampires. If Buffy isn't slaying them Bella is dating them. Whatever happened to Christopher Lee's swirling cape and red eyes that made us duck down in the back row of the seats at our local Cinema. Providing they let us in of course. It's hard to act sixteen when you're only eleven.

Don't misunderstand me, I'm not complaining, I can't get enough of them. As soon as Jonathan Harker alighted from his coach in the Transylvanian twilight and gazed up at the forbidding ramparts of Dracula's ancient castle I was hooked. Stephen King brought the whole vampire genre sharply back into focus with his brilliantly disturbing Salem's Lot.

 As I browse through the list of my mutual Twitter Followers I can see that vampires retain their sinister fascination for authors and readers alike. Here are some examples:

 

Christine's Blog: Her Raven Domain: Blog of Christine Frost
 

Kim's Blog: Kim Faulks Dark Paranormal Author

        Vee's Blog: Living Dead Girl Blog
 

Karen's Web Site: karenessex.com
Looking at the quality of these blogs and of the cover designs of each book it would be easy for a new writer or potential author of vampire related fiction to become discouraged. Formidable competition combined with the sheer numbers of talented authors working within this particular sub-genre can prove extremely disheartening. It shouldn't, and there's a simple reason why. Have you ever noticed how in shopping malls similar types of shops cluster together? Have you ever wondered why?

Savvy retailers know that by offering choice people are more likely to turn up in large numbers. A cluster of shoe shops is likely to attract more people than just one solitary store. It's not a question of overcrowding but of providing variety within a specific niche. The same with books. The potential audience for any genre is mind-bogglingly massive and there exists an insatiable demand. One reader will consume many books within a year. If they enjoyed Christine's Veiled Mirror it is likely they will look for other authors within the same genre. Good writing creates demand. How many authors have ridden successfully on Tolkien's coat tails?

Do not be afraid of competition, instead welcome it. If there are lots of successful writers within a particular genre that means that genre is highly popular and there is plenty of room for new talent. In fact the more talented writers there are within the genre the more likely it is that interest will be sustained and grow as new authors are recommended by an ever increasing audience. So, do not give up on your dreams of becoming a successful author of vampire novels because so many have and are already doing the same thing. It's impossible for your genre to become overcrowded.

We interrupt this blog for a blatant piece of self promotion.
In her blog post Kim wrote:
"The hardest thing for an Indie Author like myself, is finding those readers who enjoy what I write."
Google+ eXplosion is out this week (see the link at the top right of this blog). I took time out from writing BILLY:Family Secrets to write it because I believe it will go a hell of a long way to solving Kim's problem via the easiest route and in the quickest time. It's not really a question of standing out from the crowd, rather finding a crowd to stand in the middle of!
This Weeks Featured Followers: Kristi Bernard, Lake Lopez and Jeremy D Powell

Congratulations Kristi Bernard on winning the Inspiring Blog Award.

 Kristi is one of those rare people who seem to shun the limelight preferring to encourage others.
You can find Kristi's blog here: http://kristibernard.wordpress.com

As a former headteacher I was intrigued by the idea behind the Neophyte Writer and hope it will go from strength to strength. Here's more information about Kristi:

Kristi Bernard is the writer, editor and founder of The Neophyte Writer. This blog is information for writers and their journey. It’s a place where writers can learn and develop their skills. It features author interviews, book reviews, and trends in the world of writing.
Her story “BIG RED” was one of the first to be promoted on a site with a new endeavour in promoting authors and their books. The sites sole purpose is to have children read stories to other children via video. Since the launch of www.Smories.com. It has grown and become one of the most productive sites of it’s kind. Kristi has won writing contests at www.RedRoom.com, a website for authors.

Kristi Bernard TAKE A BOW!!!

From a child I  always enjoyed being scared witless, even if it meant spending most of my childhood hiding behind the sofa. My next Featured Follower has one stated ambition - to scare the hell out of you!
Welcome Lake Lopez!



Have to admit I'm hooked already and as soon as I finish this post I intend heading over to  Lake's blog and start reading Sinister.
You can visit Lake's blog at: http://www.thescarystory.com/

And finally may I introduce Jeremy D Powell.











From what I've read of Jeremy's blog he has a lot to be hopeful about. Some really interesting and helpful posts  that I highly recommend. Visit Jeremy's blog at: http://jeremydpowell.wordpress.com/
Here's what Jeremy has to say about himself (modestly).
"I am going to forego the author spiel. My story is the same as countless others — late nights of writing, crammed between work, family and sleep. That is not what makes me interesting. There are a few traits, outside of my writing, that make me unique.
I am honest with myself and others. I refuse to commit the sin that a vast majority of writers and bloggers commit: self-deception. I know that my writing and blogging is not ground-breaking. I am OK with that. I know that I am not a household name like C. S. Lewis or H. P. Lovecraft. I am OK with that. I don’t expect the reader to hang on my every word… yet. One day I will be all of these things if I continue to work on the craft.
I will not use my blog as a meat market for my work. I think that a reader who is sufficiently impressed with my work could work the Amazon website without my heavy-handed and amateurish attempts at marketing. Maybe I give readers too much credit, but I refuse to produce a product that I would not personally consume. Commercials posing as blogs irk me.
I will put my family first. There will be spans of time that I do not update my blog. I am my blog’s master; it is not mine."

Refreshing honesty coupled with a determination to improve that will resonate with many of us. I particularly empathise with the last paragraph. The only thing I would say is that if you have taken the trouble to write something you should try and make the effort to let people know about it.

Very best wishes to all our Featured Followers.

Next Week: Help For Aspiring Authors?

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