Sunday, March 25, 2012

Best Seller vs Loyal Following

So I have a question for you. Think of it as my version of "Would you rather..." and go with it.

Would you rather have a best seller that makes you a "name" or would you rather have a loyal fan base that follows your progress, cheers your successes (no matter how small) and consoles you in your losses?

I know you may not be a writer so apply this to your life. Think of it as a billion dollar company or a mom-and-pop shop perhaps. You could make a ton of money but you would be so out of touch with your consumers that you aren't part of their world anymore. Or you could just scrape by paycheck to paycheck with the knowledge that you are participating in your community economy. Maybe think of it as the chef of a huge restaurant that never sees the customers enjoy his creations but gets lauded by everyone, or the waitress that provides the service that really does the hardest work but is highly underrated.

I'm curious of your opinion. Since I am a writer, I'll go with the original best seller vs. loyal following.

I want to write something that is engaging. I want my reader to wonder what happens next, to clutch at her heart while swept up in the emotions of her favorite character, and to get him to talk about the story with me and others. I don't want to be the next Anne Rice, J. K. Rowling, or Stephanie Meyer. I want to be Dee Sutter, that writer that wrote those novels. I think that it would be difficult to engage with my reader if I were to reach a "name" status so my initial thought is that I would rather have a loyal following of readers that genuinely want to know more. But, I would take a best seller without complaints too. Just saying.

1 comment:

Booksteve said...

I can think of Laurel K. Hamilton and perhaps JK Rowling as recent examples of authors who'v been savvy enough to "work the system" and be both. Hamilton's books always hit the Top Ten and yet her loyal fan base is organized and supportive online and at her numerous personal appearances. She plays a writer like being a rock star and for her it seems to work.

Ideally, that's what I'd like.