Isn't writing a creative endeavor? It seems like we're putting too much emphasis on the audience; beta reading and beta testing things to death.
Writer K.B. Stevens’ comment touches on a gray area that many writers struggle with. When you are writing for yourself, there is no requirement to do anything except please yourself.
Unfortunately, when you are creating a product for mass enjoyment, only aiming to please yourself is against all the rules of business. There are three key factors to a successful business, and if one hopes to be a successful author and authorpreneur, attention to the product, quality and audience are a prerequisite to publishing any book.
Should writers stop letting publishers, marketing teams, and sometimes editors change their stories so they'll be more saleable?
Yes, and no! There should be a fine line between tailoring a product and gutting it. Any editor worth their salt should be able to replicate the authors voice and invoke the idea behind the words. Fear of “gutting” should not stop an author from getting edited: you must edit your work! Hire an editor, take the advice, utilize the feedback and use your own words to craft a story your readers will appreciate. As an authorpreneur, your creativity should not get in the way of producing a book.
Should someone have told Modigliani that his necks were painted too long, or Picasso that his noses were too big?
Someone probably did, and in the end the artist chose for his work to be left as is. There is something to be said about quality that looks differently when it comes to authorship.
Quality is not debatable. If the color on Picasso’s paintings faded days after he was done, we would not reference him today. Quality means that the author must edit, craft a plot that readers can follow, provide reasonable descriptions, and decide on a cover that will grab readers attention. High quality publications are necessary in order to build a successful writing career as an authorpreneur.
Writing is a creative process, yet authors that want to make a living must realize that books and stories are products.To sell books, one must craft a product readers are willing to pay for. If creativity is going unappreciated (i.e. unsold), you have either failed to identify your target market or your product is lacking in some capacity.
Authors do not have to forfeit creativity in order to sell books. Authorpreneur's are masters of creativity. They understand the business end of publishing, and they are the ones who are succeeding.
Publishing mogul? Yes. Authorpreneur? Yes. Sellout? No, not in the least!