by Libbie Hawker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I picked this up because I love Libby Hawker’s nonfiction stuff, and I’ve been thinking of doing some historical fantasy. I felt the topics covered were thorough, and she had a lot of great advice. Some of it is timeless, and some of it is a little less so, though she made sure to note that in her writing.
I appreciated her take on the topic selection and marketing, but I found the advice on researching to be a little light.
If you’re looking to get into historical fiction, Libby has some great advice, like figuring out your market, looking elsewhere for marketing advice (although this was written back in 2015, and as such, things have undoubtedly changed, so maybe the historical fantasy market isn’t so thoroughly traditional?), and catering to the top reasons people love reading historical fantasy – to learn something new and to immerse themselves in a different time.
A great book for anyone interested in diving into the historical fiction book market, no matter the year.
The bestselling author of Take Off Your Pants!, the popular outlining guide for writers, is back with another how-to manual for those seeking to start a career in historical fiction.
There’s no doubt that historical fiction is popular with readers. In fact, the genre is expanding all the time, gaining market share and influencing other media at a rapid pace. But the HF market has some peculiar quirks that can challenge any writer.
In Making It in Historical Fiction, Libbie Hawker shares her knowledge and experience in the world of commercial HF. Hawker’s strategy for success begins long before you write your book. You’ll learn how to spot key opportunities in the modern publishing market, how to create an advance plan for your books that will maximize reader loyalty and build excitement, how to make the genre’s tropes work for you, and more.
From understanding the average HF reader to branding your books; from choosing subjects with commercial appeal to fine-tuning dialogue and narrative voice, this book contains everything modern historical novelists need to tap into the commercial potential of the genre.