In any creative field, you have options. There's the option where you work for other people and the option where you work for yourself. In writing this is called writing for the market or writing from your heart.
Writing for the market includes finding out what publishers want then writing your manuscript to their specifications. Publishers are businesses, and after they research what people want to buy, they try to produce the desired product. Hence the Love Inspired Suspense line of books that knows their readers love dogs, Amish, and secret babies. If you want to get published by this line of books, this is what you write, whether you like dogs, Amish, and secret babies or not. I'm not a fan of the secret baby myself. I feel like such a scenario would require years of counseling for everyone involved. But this is pretty much a guaranteed way to sell lots of books.
On the other hand, writing from your heart is a huge gamble. You don't worry about making money or ever having your words see the ink of a printing press. You write as crazy and as passionate as you want to write. You give yourself permission to break all the rules. You don't worry about whether you will offend anybody because you might be the only person who ever reads it. You invent genres. And if you are lucky enough to get your work into the hands of somebody who is new to the publishing world and doesn't know the rules...or know that they should be offended...or know that your genre doesn't exist, you could become the next J.K. Rowling.
So which option did I choose? I've chosen option number three. The option where I do both. It's called being a hybrid author. I work with publishers who don't have the same beliefs as I do and require I give over control of my material to them because they know better how the publishing industry works and can offer me more sales. And I also go rouge. I write my own stuff on the side, hoping that one day I will find a publisher as unrealistically optimistic as I am.
Today is that day. I've found the perfect publisher, and that publisher is me.
Okay, what really happened is that the new Hallmark publishing house rejected The Princess and the P.I. They liked my voice in the story but want me to submit something to them that has more "ordinary" characters and circumstances, so I sent them a follow up query with a new idea. AND I'm going to download this book onto Amazon for your purchase today.
I don't know what I'm doing. I rarely do. But I know if I were a reader looking for a fun, exciting, romantic, thought-provoking, UNORDINARY book to read, I would pick this one. And I want you to have that opportunity.
This is the same book I gave away throughout the summer to newsletter subscribers, so you might have already read it. If so, great! You can post a review and help me along this scary journey of not only following my heart but putting it on display for perfect strangers to rip apart.
(Just don't rip it apart as badly as Jenny B. Jones got ripped apart this week for using mild curse words like "stupid" in the story. Because that would be stupid.)
This is a creative field. This is what I signed up for. And no matter how much easier it would be to be ordinary, I'm not.
I've been given the heart to write. And now publish.