Oh lordy, for the third time in this short year, I have the stomach flu. I struggled through my historical fiction class Tuesday, hanging on by one, green, nauseated thread. I did, however, come away with a tidbit of writing wisdom to pass along:
1. Mass market paperbacks are those thick little things one finds on supermarket shelves next to the glossy magazines.
2. Trade publications are the classier (and usually bigger) paperbacks one finds immediately upon walking into the Barnes and Noble. They are usually the featured books on the tables rather than those secreted away upstairs.
Here's the thing though - mass markets are cheaper to make AND more mass markets are sold on a daily basis. Romances and mysteries sell by the thousands every day. In fact, The New York Times Best Seller list won't include these titles because, if they did, these beauties would knock out the competition. Yep, that's right. The New York Bestseller List is a misnomer because what sells best are not those more literary works on their list. The fact is, the world loves good romances and mysteries whether or not the writer is a writing genius, and despite the formulaic nature of many of those stories.
I haven't figured out what that means for me as a writer but it does tell me something about readers. Readers, are often fine with predictability, and happy with endings that wrap up neatly. Because what is most important to readers, is the story.