“Just write the best book you possibly can.”
That’s the advice we hear over and over, and at its heart, it is very true.
Yeah. That’s a big however.
Don’t write less than 50,000 words and expect to market it as a novel. This would be a novella, and the market is different. Don’t make it too long either, that’s even worse.
Publishers want to categorize your books. If one main character is middle grade but the other is a teenager, your story might be lost in limbo.
If your story is faith-based, keep the heat level “warm.”
Don’t mention a character, even a minor one, engaging in any kind of sexual activity before age 18.
Don’t mix genres. Make sure your story can be clearly categorized.
And the list goes on…
There are exceptions to every rule. In fact, one could successfully argue that the best stories break most of these rules. However, if your goal is to publish your story, there are a lot of customary and accepted guidelines that aren’t necessarily listed or written anywhere. Yet a new writer who is wading into the waters for the first time begins to learn these unwritten rules one at a time.
Screw the guidelines. Well, maybe not…keep them in the back of your mind. Realize that simple things like the age of a character or the word-count of your story can greatly affect the marketability of your book.
Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead! I’m going to write the greatest 49,000 word faith-based Steampunk erotica the world has ever seen!
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