Today I’d like to make note of something that every artist looking to turn their product into a business has, or will, face: mainstream or commercial?
Despite what many rebel purists may say, there is indeed a difference. A very clear and cut difference. Now, you may be asking yourself: Robert, what’s the difference? Well here it is, according to yours truly.
Mainstream art (whether it be writing, music, film, canvas, etc…) is something that is known to all/most through fame, longevity, steady word of mouth, etc… It’s something, a product, that is at the forefront of its game through reasons listed.
Mainstream is created with the intention of reaching a number of people while maintaining all/most of the creative integrity. Profit is not the driving force. A perfect example:
Stephen King. Though known to every human being outside of diapers, he is by no means a commercial author. He is simply at the very top of the author celebrity list through years of hard work and consistent product that stole our breath and peaceful nights of sleep.
Commercial art (in whatever form) is created strictly with a certain formula that revolves around reaching the MAXIMUM amount of individuals. In doing so your earning potential is at its greatest. Profit is the name of the game. Some examples:
Musicians who depend on radio airplay, thus pushing them in a creative direction aimed at mass consumption. Whether that be pop, radio rock, etc…
Also, certain authors whose genre(s) nearly guarantee great amounts of appeal: certain subgenre(s) of romance, erotica, action adventure, etc… A great example of an author specializing in this field would be James Patterson. Wait, does he write?
How Can This Help You? Well, firstly, you need to decide what your reason(s) are for writing. Is this a glorified hobby? Is this a lifelong passion or are you looking to be rich and famous?
Once you take an honest look at where you want to go with your craft you can start taking steps forward. Formatting, wording, subject matter, niche specialties, etc…Even if you’re not looking to get rich overnight, it can never hurt to have a business plan or strategy on where you want to go in life with your work.
Unless you’re looking to publish dark esoteric type stuff or world domination manifestos, it’s always a good idea to figure out who and how you’re going to appeal to. Creatively and financially because let’s be real, making money always feels good.
That’s all for this week, guys.