Does the World Need Another Fill-in-the-Blank?

I’m looking at writing an urban fantasy novel for NaNoWriMo. One of the challenges is to understand the market where I think this book would be placed. How often do you think about the market you’re going to be in before you write the book? I can’t say I do it often, though it is somewhere in the back of my mind when I’m thinking about a project.

Part of the trouble is that it’s difficult to imagine my book alongside the ones I take home and read. Not that I won’t be thrilled when that happens, it’s just difficult to picture ahead of time. Sometimes the closer I get, the farther it feels to the eventual goal. I have a published book out there, though it isn’t on the physical shelves of the bookstore. Some days that is hard to remember.

Today I was asking friends about urban fantasy novels they enjoyed. I know I’ve read a few, but I’m curious what draws in others who read that genre. I’ll also be making a trip to the bookstore this week to see what I haven’t read on the shelves that might be interesting or in the same market segment. The tough part might be keeping that list up to date by the time I get this manuscript ready to put in front of someone who can do something about the book-on-physical-shelf thing.

My answer to the title question is yes. It doesn’t matter how many urban fantasy genre books there are – mine will still be different. It’s like so many other things that take time and effort and seem to be a dime a dozen (bloggers and novelists can both fit in this category). If you want to make it work, do it. If you’re going to allow yourself to be daunted by the established names in the field, you’re toast. I’m working toward my goals and I won’t be afraid of failing. The only thing to be afraid of is not trying.

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