So, I’ve been thinking about this lately and I wonder: why is it that publishers shy away from books set in other cultures?
I know it’s not a completely closed market. There are some books out there with settings different from your typical America and England settings, but I don’t know of too many. I’ve also heard it’s difficult to get any interest in it because of the locale of the book. But it’s not impossible, as my good writer friend Jeannie Lin has proven with the sale of her historical romance set in China.
Is it because it’s a small number of readers? I somewhat doubt that because most everyone I talk to says they would love to read a book set in another place besides the usual American and Regency England setting. I could be wrong though since I’m not in the book industry at all.
If it is because of the lack of interest–well, why? I know people like what’s comfortable and what not, but doesn’t that get boring after awhile? 😛 Perhaps it’s my unsettled nature in reading. I have what I like to call “Reader’s A.D.D.” meaning I’m constantly looking for something different. Sure, I tend to stay in my comfort zone of historicals, though I am willing to read a good contemporary story as well as fantasy, YA and maybe a mystery. But I love looking for a different time, a different place…
Perhaps it’s the part of me that longs to travel, or the history geek in me, that loves learning about as many different cultures as possible. The only way I can do that is by reading, and well, when most of the books out there are about the same culture and history that I’ve learned about my entire life, I get bored. 😛 Don’t get me wrong–I still love me a good Regency romance or Victorian era book in America. But sometimes I want MORE.
I think that’s why I write about cultures completely different from my own. I’m not finding it out on the market so I have to create one 🙂 I’ve got stories planned for all different parts of the world. Obviously I have passion for Asian cultures a little more than others, yet I’m still open to reading and writing about other ones too. In fact the novel I worked on in college took place in the Middle East during the time of Christ. I’ve also worked on one set in Egypt (although it never got very far) and part of me really wants to write something set in India. I’m just all over the world, aren’t I?
Anyway, feel free to leave me your opinions in the comments. I’d really like to know what you honestly think–I won’t hold it against you 🙂