Friday, September 14, 2012

Good books

It used to be that an aspiring author would write a novel and then painstakingly send out SASE’s (remember them) hoping to land an agent. If the author did land an agent, then the author would hope for a publishing contract. If by miracle of miracles the agent actually sells the book, then eighteen months later it comes out in the bookstore (remember those) and the author starts doing a grueling schedule of signings hoping to recoup more money in sales than the advance received. The ebook revolution has changed all that. Sure, there are a lot of people publishing crappy books that they type out in a few afternoons. Some even sell a few copies. But readers are wary of junk writers and Amazon allows a sample to see how the book flows and if it hooks you. All my samples hook the reader and have them wanting to read more (I hope). But now, just providing samples may not be enough to grab an audience. Now, there are book trailers that need to be made and then uploaded to every video site around (I have yet to make a trailer, but know I should). There is Pinterest, and Facebook, and Yahoo groups, and blogs to be written, and sites to upload samples and links. It takes a lot of time to get noticed as a writer these days. And therein lay the secret of success. Writers quick to publish their books are usually people who want the instant gratification of saying they wrote a book without the months or years it takes to write a really good novel (with the exception a few genius writers). These same writers don’t have the tenacity and patience it takes to slowly build up a readership. Those quick-to-publish writers will grow bored of the daunting process of getting noticed and eventually their books will fade from view. It’s almost like a natural selection for stories. Bad books will be weeded out leaving the good. Readers may have to take a little more time finding the gems amidst the dirt instead of relying on large publishing conglomerates to tell them what to read and what’s good for the masses, but they will. I think the birth of indie publishing will change the very core of what a reader can expect in a book. Stories won’t be sweetened up, or toned down, or made politically correct to sell more copies. Good novels will become true works of art and writing will blossom to a new degree of freedom and creativity. And we will all benefit from that.