Rules Are Made For Breaking... Sometimes.


If you have a chance to get to know me, you probably won’t think I’m much of a rule-breaker, especially in publishing. But the beauty of Indie is that you can break rules, and you can be very successful doing so. But it’s important to know when and why it makes sense to break rules. One of my favorite examples of rule-breaking is the work of Ransom Riggs, author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I recall coming across his blog, years ago, and I was fascinated with his writing and the unique concept he worked from. Riggs would take found and collected photos and create unique stories around them. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find those early writings to share with you, but they were intriguing. And a publisher thought so too. Using odd and usual photographs and building a fictional world around them, while incorporating the images into a novel, was practically unheard of. There was nothing like it in mainstream media. Generally, photographs in fiction can be distracting and don’t often add value to the writing. Production limitations and costs, like print quality and the cost of color printing, can also make their use less appealing. The Peculiar Children series, however, has sold over 9 million copies and been translated into over 40 languages.
That begs the question: When should rules be broken? We can’t answer that without knowing what the rules are, and we know that publishing isn’t a one-size-fits-all institution.

Read the entire article in the June 2021 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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