A Publishing Genius Finds Niche!Written by Winn Griffin
Edward Stratemeyer was a publishing genius. Born in Elizabeth, NJ, he began writing juvenile fiction shortly after he graduated from high school. He wrote using many pseudonyms. He began The Stratemeyer Literary Syndicate in 1905. His greatest desire was to be a “paperback writer” not unlike Horatio Alger.
Stratemeyer’s acumen for business helped him find a niche market, children’s books. But, not like any children’s books before. He began a series of books called The Rover Boys He produced several books in this series at once (called breeders). These books would be written under a pseudonym. Why? Stratemeyer knew that he would die one day, but other writers using same pseudonym could continue series and live on. So we have names like Carolyn Keene and Franklin W. Dixon.
Another genius move was that he made books look like books that adults read. He bound books and used same typeface as books for adult readers. These books would not be long and tedious and chapters would end with a kinda cliff hanger (not unlike each segment of TV drama Alias does today). With these innovations The Rover Boys was an overwhelming success.
Ambition versus DedicationWritten by Nicole Criona
All writers aspire to recognition, but are we dedicated? Ambition is simply drive or strong desire for something. It is enthusiastic wanting, that yearning felt in every pore, every cell in our bodies toward a specific aim. Sounds a lot like an addiction, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. We become addicted to our fantasy of what it’s like to live as a working, paid writer. That fantasy is great, it’s wonderful. Keep it. Don’t let it take place of dedication.
Dedication, on other hand, according to Dictionary.com, is defined as “selfless devotion”. I was reading a book entitled “78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published & 14 Reasons Why it Just Might” by Pat Walsh. In introduction, he talks about difference between ambition and dedication and writes: “Most people who write a book have ambition, which differs from dedication. With ambition, goal is key element. With dedication, process is prize.”
He’s right. If you are selflessly devoted to your writing, end result should be act of creation, act of manifesting, act of communicating a version of your story that is better than your greatest possible version. If you aspire to greatness, then fantasy is no longer good enough. How dedicated are you to your craft, regardless of your desire for publication and fame?
Letting go (at least temporarily) of ambition and rededicating yourself to your craft is your first step toward achieving your goals. Sounds recursive, I know – it’s same with that old adage: “just when you’re not looking, you’ll find Mr./Ms. right”. Irritating? Yes. True? Also yes. Here are a few tips to get you on your way toward your newfound perseverance.