I've spent part of, well, most of, my morning researching how I should be running my marketing. I've gotten a lot of great tips and even bookmarked a few sites (ex. http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2014/03/5-things-you-should-know-about-working-with-beta-readers/), but I've also picked up on a trend.
Realizing that authors have to live, too, I still get a little creeped out every time I read about how some of them decide what to write and how to market it. The pattern I'm seeing is, 1) pick a really popular genre; 2) determine what makes a book fit into that genre; 3) make sure you cram as many of those things into your book as you can; 4) write it as quickly as possible; and 5) count your money.
I'm afraid I'm going to sound like the woodworker or artisan who prefers to do their work by hand, really I'm not, I'm just a person who loves to write... But if I used that approach, I would very quickly come to hate writing. It wouldn't have any substance to it anymore.
I remember reading the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books as a teen and then learning what a "hack house" was. Loosely defined, a hack house is a group of writers who are all given the same basic storyline to write a book around. While that would make for an interesting creative writing class, fascinating even, I shudder to think that this is what's happening to our reading options.
It could be argued that all the world has left is the rehashing of what's already been written. I might even catch myself being on that side of a discussion before too long. However, that doesn't mean I'm going to make writing like that my goal. And I'm certainly not going to include things in my books just because it's proven that they're "moneymakers."
Enough about me and my opinions. I'd like to hear from you. Do you feel that more and more the books you're trying to read all seem like clones?