If ideas are at the heart of all good books, then why do so many recent successes have nothing of importance to say. So many times have I picked up a new blockbuster of a book, that has dressed itself up as a great read, only to be disappointed by the shallow ideas and mediocre writing. It wouldn’t be as much of an issue if the numbers of thought-provoking works didn’t seem to be dwindling.
Does this stem from readers not wanting anything more from their reads; or from the fear of the publishing industry, now no longer willing to take a risk on anything that, although good, may not sell in vast quantities (first novels don’t always); or is it just me missing something in these works.
It’s a worry that numbers are so much at the front of things, as writing comes from the heart where things like profit and marketability and units sold are concepts so far away from the core ideas that grace the page. I realise that it wouldn’t be a good idea for publishers to take on manuscripts that wouldn’t sell, but it just seems that there are a lot of clones and formulaic novels gracing the bookshelves, and in my search for something original I get trumped by predictable narrative and the same old characters again and again, just because that sort of thing sold before. There would be no Bukowski today.
I suppose this is where the self-publishing industry will come to the fore, and when publishers are no longer willing to take any risks and just become number-crunching machines, it may prove to be the new home to written ideas:
This world that I’m trying to step out into seems both open to me, and completely closed at the same time. I think that if I’m going to get anywhere, I’m going to have to do it on my own; I’ll have to make do with trying to market myself and my stories, and just see what happens. It’ll be a long road, but I’m willing to stomp my way along it, however long it takes, however little gain I receive and however stacked against me it seems.
That’s all for now. Rumination over.
- Random Chance and a Writer’s Success (richardlevesqueauthor.wordpress.com)
- A few comments on “Book Publishers Scramble to Rewrite Their Future” by Evan Hughes (petergalenmassey.com)
- How Startups Are Changing the Book Publishing Industry (technori.com)
- Traditional publishing houses: The new vanity press? (jamsnroses.wordpress.com)