Innovation for Writers Who Don’t Fit the Machine (Part 1)
I am currently working with an author that ‘doesn’t fit’ into a big publisher’s pigeonhole. Jaki doesn’t write what is ‘cookie-cutter saleable’ in today’s marketplace. And yet her stories are to-the-bone correct. They are well written and tight. They speak directly to the scared young hero within us all. Her stories are like old fairy tales. You know the kind of story I’m talking about: the hide-in-the-crook-of-Mama’s-arms-scary, an archetypal tale to resonate our deepest aspects, the Brothers Grimm kind of story.
However, the publishing industry’s cookie-cutter machine is not producing these types of stories. “It’s not what is currently popular,” Jaki has heard; and “The numbers are just not there”; “it’s not what the marketplace is looking for, I’m sorry.” Apparently, the parental masses are not buying this sort of fiction to read to their children. The story is too dark and scary.
As for us here at Koho Pono, we think the world needs more coming of age stories for girls. Little girls need to hear stories about how ‘the buck-stops-with-me’. Too many of our youngsters are only taught to attract-what-they-need and that doesn’t give them a full toolbox full of life skills. Being a girl is rough. It takes a lot of gumption to grow from innocent babe all the way to wise old crone. G.K. Chesterton tells us why these kind of scary tales are important,“Fairy tales do not tell children dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”
We at Koho Pono agree with G.K. Chesterton. He-ay-hee-ee! We believe there are little girls out there who need to hear Jaki’s stories. And there are wrinkled old granddames, abuelas, and babitsa dragas who need to tell this kind of story to their ‘chillens. There are spicy aunts and tanten who need to explain why it is important to grow and widen and exclaim out loud. And there are mothers who need to tell these stories to themselves. It’s not only a female thing. In the hearts of some boys sits a hunger for a heroic girl companion to go on adventures with.
We think this kind of story is worthy and timeless. And we think there are people out there who agree with us, which is why we’re publishing it.
Also, are innovating a delivery system to match up the correct audience to this story. It doesn’t have to be volume sales; just the right amount of sales.