I'm not a big name, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the next Gaiman, which leaves a Commercial High-Concept. Does my project fit into this category? Honestly, I don't really know. I think the story would entertain me, and I'm hoping that by extension others would also enjoy it. But, I'm not about to put together a story about teenage vampire angst just to try to appeal to the Twilight crowd.
Last edited by harryd; Sunday, March 07, 2010 at 04:20 PM.
There's a fascinating gut-check that creators have to the concept of commerciality, as though it ONLY means jumping on the current conceptual gravy train, when that is JUST NOT THE CASE.
We can dance around this term a lot, but all it really means is that there is an editorial reason a project is perceived as being POTENTIALLY salable to enough people to warrant financially backing it.
THAT'S at the heart of "commercial," not whether the creator is willing to become a hack and produce something he/she doesn't really care about.
Asking somebody to be "commercial" doesn't NECESSARILY mean changing what they do, though sometimes, HONESTLY, it does.
I remember hearing a mid-list author recount a decision she was faced with. Her last book had been successful, and her agent was telling her that she was on the verge of becoming a "best-selling" author, but to get there she was going to have to tailor her project decisions accordingly. The author opted to continue doing what she was doing, and was comfortable with that.
But, to be clear, she was being asked to only focus on those projects that would appeal to that larger readership.
So, to be be commercial, folks can do it by accident or on purpose. Some couldn't do it on purpose if they tried, as their choices of material are too personal.
But selecting from all the ideas you have for stories is different than selling out.
For those who CAN do it, it's about making market decisions; it's about ascertaining the best use of time and resources.
This is another one of those myths about being "commercial" that folks need to consider seriously.
Because to say, "I'm not going to sell out and do what everybody else is doing to be successful" is a great excuse for not having to make the hard, professional decisions.
It's perfectly okay to follow trends.
It's perfectly okay to cull your editorial choices to increase chances for salability.
It's perfectly okay to do only what's most personal to you at any given time, whether you or anybody else thinks it's commercial or not.
As long as you know what you're doing and why.
Last edited by LeeNordling; Monday, March 08, 2010 at 05:29 PM.