Recently I heard those title words at a Colorado Independent Publishers Association meeting (CIPA, pronounced see pa, accent on see) from a marketing specialist, Erik Hofstetter, CEO of Creative Visions, Denver CO. Among other marketing concerns he talked about knowing what a product–a book— should be, should do, should have in order to satisfy the reader or publisher. We were asked to apply these three categories to our own books. Inspired, I came home and thought about how these words apply, not just to my new novel, but to my writing in general.
I want my writing to be clear, articulate, a significant witness to the world as I see it, not necessarily as I think it should be. I don’t want it to be a sermon. It should be accessible to most English speaking readers.
It should do the following: entertain, hold the reader’s attention, make sense to any sensible reader, offer insights into the subject matter and provide details that lend it authenticity. It should surprise me and the reader. Remember Robert Frost’s caution: “No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader.”
My writing should have legs, its news traveling by word of mouth from person to person, and it should have staying power in a reader’s mind and in the market place. It should have resonance–that tuning fork analogy that suggests writer and reader react to similar stimuli.
Marketing is my hardest task as a writer, but at the very least, Mr. Hofstetter has given me a framework for this task. I cannot guarantee that what I write and publish will measure up to all that I’ve described above, but I know what I want my work to be/do/have. Try this thought experiment with your own work and let me know what you discover.