Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Writing romance to make money: one couple's story.

I always love one of those fairy tale type of stories. But sometimes even fairy tales tick me off.

As is the case of Jasinda Wilder and her husband, who back in 2012 where on the verge of losing their home. Jack, an English major, had to quit his job to take care of one of their sick sons. Jasinda, a music teacher, saw her hours cut back. They had 5 kids to care for and a $1,200 mortgage payment to make. As they said, they were "living day to day". The financial crunch got to them and they were within 30 days of losing their home with no where to go.

The couple turned "their desperation into inspiration". Together they scoured the interwebs and read all the romances on the bestseller lists (because hey, romance makes money, right?). *light bulb to Jasinda and Jack* 50 Shades caught Jasinda's eyes. She decided to write a romance similar to it, only with big girls. Their first book, Big Girls Do It Better, was written at lightening speed and self-published. It sold 500 copies on it's first day. And only picked up steam from there. (side note: it's only 32 pages)

Jasinda had found a niche. There isn't a lot of good romance novels talking about the lives of bigger woman. And as a bigger woman herself, she knew she could help the reader relate. Over the next 6 months, they had cranked out 20 titles. Now they are bestselling authors and in good shape to keep their home.

I say good for them. Congrats and well done.

But at the same time, I cringe.

I'm a firm believer that you shouldn't write romance (or anything for that matter) to simply make a pay check. And that's what these folks did. Sure, they researched the genre first (good for them), but then they just wrote and wrote for the sake of saving their home. Really, they should be proud of themselves (as I'm sure they are), but as a die-hard romance reader and author, this just doesn't sit well with me. I write from the heart, from my soul. I weave stories together for the sake of turning small ideas into mesmerizing characters. Because it's a passion I have. Because it's what I love to do. If I didn't sell another book, I would still write because it makes me happy.

The bottom line: you can't really write something good and wonderful and inspiring and beautiful and long-lasting and breathtaking and awe-inspiring if you don't have passion for it. Like I've said for a long time: if you are only writing to make money, you shouldn't be writing. 'Course, that's just my two cents.

Again, I think the story of Jasinda and Jack is great for them. It's also a one in a million type thing. And it's probably one of the reasons there are so many  terrible romance books for sale out there. People think they can make quick money so they just do it (and don't do it well).

Writing isn't about the money, it's about the passion. Without the passion, there's nothing good to read.


1 comment:

Nicki Elson said...

Yeah, I get you on this - I totally get you. I think we're idealists though - the mass majority of romance readers clearly aren't all that picky when it comes to passion & quality.

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