Jerry D. Simmons is a 33-year veteran
of publishing, 25 with Random House and the former Time Warner Book
Group. He directed a sales division that generated hundreds of
millions of dollars in book sales across the United States and
Canada. Over the years he has worked on thousands of New York Times
bestselling titles and with hundreds of New York Times bestselling
authors. Today he writers, speaks and is an advocate for writers,
educating them about the business of publishing. Additional information about Jerry can be found at one of his WEBSITES
Every writer is responsible for creating content. Whether developing characters and stories or sharing information, their written words must meet one of the three publishing requirements: entertain, educate or enlighten. Some writers cover all three, but successful writers must be a creator of content that covers at least one.
Writing is a business, certainly a creative enterprise but none the less, one developed to be marketed and sold. As a content creator, your job is to develop a product that has an audience or at least the potential to develop an audience. Any other form of content creation is an exercise in self expression.
The one factor that is irrelevant to a discussion of content creation is form or genre. The type or form of writing and categorization can be indistinguishable as long as the creation has a potential audience. After all, writing is intended to fill a need for the consumer and is marketed to match the demands of that market.
Content is much more than what goes between book covers and into digital files. In a much broader sense it must entertain, educate and enlighten the intended audience in such a manner that demand for more content is created. The creation of content requires intelligence, insight, creativity, imagination, inspiration, discipline and persistence.
Amazon is becoming a large vertically integrated publisher interested in cornering the self-publishing market while pursuing a strategy of content acquisition and mainstream publishing. Their goal appears to be control of every aspect of publishing, production and sales which would give them tremendous control over content.
This is frightening for anyone in publishing trying to compete with a company responsible for a large percentage of their own sales. However Amazon’s integration into all aspects of publishing will create opportunities for writers who can generate demand for their work resulting in an audience of willing consumers.
These opportunities will become available to the writer who can entertain, educate, and enlighten. Writers who have an audience for their work and understand their ability to create content on a prolific and consistent basis will increase their value accordingly. The market is interested in talented writing, regardless of form or genre.
Successful writers develop a following, often based on a character or theme then fill the pipeline with additional content intended to supply the demand of the reader. No author is more a master of this than James Patterson who writes thrillers, love stories and children’s books with corporate precision intended to do nothing more than entertain. He is so prolific at storytelling that he employs writers to fill in the blanks for his detailed outlines. By maximizing his time this formula allows him to produce upwards of ten new books a year.
Years ago novelists focused on writing more novels. Today with changes in digital publishing, novelists can write short stories and even nonfiction as long as they fulfill one of the three requirements of publishing: entertain, educate or enlighten. The reader is interested in the author name or brand more than the category.
If publishers do what they do best which is develop quality content and Amazon attempts to control all levels of publishing including content, the market will always provide opportunities for talented content creators. Writers need to start thinking of their writing in different ways and focus on supplying what our audience desires.