Should You Create Your First Novel for a Market?


I really like this quote from bestselling author Lisa Jewell.

“It’s very important NOT to go into writing your first novel trying to create something for a market.”

She said this in the October 18 episode of the Olivia’s Book Club podcast. She went on to say:

“You should absolutely only write the thing that comes out of your head when you put your fingers on the keyboard and start making words happen. Just let yourself in, don’t let the market in because that’s not how great books are made.”

This is so important! It might be harder to sell your book to a publisher if it doesn’t fit the current zeitgeist, yet the best books come out of a writer’s imagination rather than an attempt to ride a trend.

It’s different with nonfiction, where you really must be aware of the market and write a book that’s needed. But for a novel, as Lisa also said:

“Just have faith in yourself, follow your instincts, put your faith in front of a screen, put your fingers on a keyboard and make some words happen.”

Great advice, right?

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!