Friday, September 20, 2019

Pia Manning Contemplates The Sweet Spot

Please welcome author Pia Manning to Journeys with Jana. She's here to talk about the compromise writers sometimes have to make in order to sell their work. Do they write the book of their heart, or the book that will sell? Welcome Pia!

That Sweet Spot

The sweet spot. What is it?

The simplest definition I’ve run across is this: The sweet spot is a compromise between what an author wants to write, and what a publisher or reader will buy.

Publishers research what genres sell the most, who buys their books and how much their customers are willing to spend. Backed by hard sales numbers and marketing research the sweet spot is for them well defined. Publishers communicate the results of their marketing research through their submission guidelines. This is where the publisher lets writers know what kinds of books they’re interested in buying. There are other sales’ indicator such as reviews, best seller lists, best selling authors’ lists. I could go on, but why? You get it.

Writing can wreck an author emotionally. All that angst we as writers wade through has a cost associated with it. Every piece of literature we put forward, whether fictional or not, holds a little bit of us within it. One of the best parts of being an author is connecting with a reader through our work. Forming that bond keeps us going.

And this is what makes finding that sweet spot rife with problems. These issues may be as small as a pothole, or as large as a minefield. How much are we willing to compromise in order to sell our work? To make it attractive enough for someone to select and read?

If our stories embody ourselves, how do we handle knowing we’ve compromised? Have we cheated ourselves somehow? Maybe. But can we make that connection with a reader if no one reads our work?  The self-negotiations every author engages in while trying to find their sweet spot are often difficult and delicate. In the end, only that writer can decide how far they’re willing to go in order to make a sale.

And if it was worth it…


Warrior Kadir stares at the woman before him. Could she be the one he's searching for? Needs? Will she accept him and warriors, Tero, Kobak and Bakur as her mates?

Janine Longo's desperate. She's got one chance to escape prison and that's Kadir. But, can she bond with four men? Love them?

The nearer to home they were, the faster they walked. By the time they reached their street they were running. Kadir didn’t stop to assess the damage. He pushed through the remains of their front door. Blaster drawn he yelled, “Janine!”

The other men fanned out to check the rest of the house. Tero ran to the kitchen. Seeing the demolished back door, he headed straight for the cold storage cellar. He climbed, then slid down the ladder into the gloom. He too knew where every box and crate sat, as well as every nook and cranny. If Janine hid herself back here, Tero thought it would be where the darkness was complete. “Janine!” he shouted again. “It’s me. Tero! Janine!”

Tero stopped to listen. Hearing only his own heartbeat, he turned to leave. He and the others needed to start searching for her before the mob…Tero couldn’t think about it.

“Tero?” a soft, breathy voice called.

Relief flooding through him, he answered. “Janine! Where are you? You ok?”

“Yeah. I’m way up here. Give me a second to get down.”

Tero moved to the bottom of the ladder. “Hey! She’s down here! We’ll be right up!” he yelled. “Need any help getting down?” He held his arms out to her.

Author bio:

Although I've kept house in a lot of places, I enjoy living in the deep dark woods of NW Wisconsin best. Sharing my space is my spousal unit, three rotten cats and one big 'fraidy-of-everything dog. I enjoy writing erotic romances 'cuz it allows my imagination to take over my day.

I turned to writing when the medical community pretty much 'diagnosed' me out of everything else. I write for myself and those of us who need a vacation, but can't always leave the room. I hope you enjoy my offerings.

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