First off, I’ll share a screenshot from the Google Play Store:
I really can’t complain about John Green’s TFIOS, because who says it has any more mature content than your average YA novel? But … why is E.L. James’ bestselling garbage, according to Google, one of the most popular reads of 2014?
I guess it’s true, sexual content in books sells. And if you write the sort of things that sell, people will most likely buy your books and you will make lots of money.
As nice as it would be to make a little cash from my writings, I do not intend to make writing my day job. I’m fairly prudish, and I won’t write anything I wouldn’t read myself.
And as selfish as it sounds, I write for myself too. I write the stories I wish were already available for me to read. If you want to read them too, that’s great. But at this stage of my life, I didn’t write them so much for you as I wrote them for me.
So yeah, I don’t write what sells, because I don’t like what currently sells.
Let’s face it, in today’s world with its set of values (or lack thereof), my book doesn’t stand a chance at selling better than Fifty Shades of Gray. (To be fair, my self-published, self-edited, and self-marketed children’s novelette doesn’t stand a chance at selling better than Clifford the Big, Red Dog, either.)
I understand now that some people have no choice but to write whatever sells so they can put food on the table. I don’t begrudge them that choice. (Well, not all that much.) But I am still quite disappointed at what currently sells, because it makes desperate writers write beneath their dignity.