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Friday, March 29, 2013

The good, the bad and the OMG

In the world of literature, there are famous authors, published writers, self-published works and people who have completed a manuscript or want to write a story, but are too afraid to publish.

It’s hardly surprising.  Writers who tried to publish their work tell horror stories of contacting literary agent after literary agent, only to receive a polite letter of rejection.  One writers admitted that he received so many rejections, that he wallpapered his office with them.

Being an avid reader and book buyer, I have a favorite set of authors.  Whenever I go to the book store, I scan the shelves for their names first, looking if they’ve come out with something new.  I just know if I buy from them I’m guaranteed a good story.

For the longest time I believed this to be true, but now I’m not so sure anymore.

The latest novel of one of my favorite authors was a total let down.  The first chapter dragged on, I thought the story would improve but it didn’t, if anything it got worse.  The story was uninteresting, the characters unsympathetic and the setting as dull as dishwater.  I gave up at page 106.

How was it possible that this writer, whose previous book was an absolute masterpiece of imagination could produce something so bad?  

When I needed something else to read, and couldn’t find anything of my favorites, I took a chance on the debut novel of a new author.  Part of me was interested in the story (having read the synopsis) and another part wanted to find out what it was that had captured a literary agent’s attention to take a chance on the writer.  What made the story unique?

The story was unique alright, unique in crappiness.  With that book I only made it to page 27, before I tossed it aside thinking “How could this have found a publisher?”  Was this what agents were looking for?  Stories so over the top in their ridiculousness that they became laughable?

I wonder how many other people got fooled and bought the book?  I wonder how many will do the same as me and return the book to the store?

I really think there are a lot of self-published authors out there who deserve the attention of the respected publishing houses and I also think that a lot of mainstream authors need to rethink what they’re writing.

It’s not because they’re published by Orion that they’re good; it’s not because someone is self-published that they’re work is inferior.

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