HomeBooksHughart, Rasmussen, and little guys versus the juggernaut


Hughart, Rasmussen, and little guys versus the juggernaut — 10 Comments

  1. How depressing. I’m just starting out. Do I just throw in the towel then?
    That’s rhetorical – obviously my answer is NO.
    It does give me pause.. and an excuse to crack open another bottle of Scotch.

  2. I went to buy a copy of Talyn today. There were three copies, cover-out. I would have bought all of them and then put in an anonymous request for more, but I’m flat broke. I did buy one, though.

  3. i would argue that the situation holly describes is, in some way, tied to the declining literacy levels & rates in our country. there’s just an overall, societal disregard for the written word.

    improve literacy rates and you’ll have more customers. improve literacy levels, and you’ll have more customers that are interested in intelligent works.

  4. When Holly speaks, Blogland listens and is polarised.

    One thing the naysayers can’t deny, however, is the amount of shite being published these days while emerging authors are shut out, and established authors see their income whittled away by lower returns.

    My question is this: is there any hope for new authors in this era of sell gazillions or die?

  5. Holly,

    I’ve heard enough portions of this story from others, hanging out at cons for the past five lustrums, and personally know several small booksellers, to know exactly what you mean. It is a problem, and it can be a career killer. Perception is everything.

    Which is not to say that every author that it happens too is a victim of the system either. I know an author right now who has had — at a minimum — to go through an apprenticeship writing with an established author at his house before they would look at a third book under his own name. Having read his first two novels, I understand; his first book was a very decent effort, but his second novel provided no structured challenge to the protagoist after about chapter 9, when he somehow gained “magic powers” (abscribed to Clarke’s Law, but still…) and thereafter stumbled through situation after situation at breakneck pace without ever making a mistake.

    As to Dan Brown…well, I got through The Da Vinci code with only a modicum of suspension of disbelief, because most of the plot and clues are really outside of my experience. But reading Angels and Demons — well, that is a subject that I know fairly well, and I was snorting — but playing along — by page 4 when the protagonist was climbing on board the CERN Director’s private multi-passnger SR-71 Blackbird. It was the rare case where I couldn’t suspend my disbelief, but after a while I didn’t even want to try anymore. Maybe because it was so over the top as to constitute a parody of the conflict between science and religion.

    (Note — I don’t want to launch into that debate on Holly’s site, so please direct any follow-ups to me. I get mail at “John Smith, General Delivery, Fiji” 😉

  6. Oh goodness, I am overworked. Ignore my awful grammar in that post, please! (Why doesn’t [everybody] know who MR is? Why [haven’t] JL or EPJ sold…)

    And that’s a great quote, Scott. I wish it weren’t so true all the time though.

  7. To the angry chain booksellers: Um… you KNOW what’s on your shelves. You can’t really think that the good stuff is what sells all the time. (I’ve never even gotten through a Dan Brown. Am I a moron not to appreciate his obvious genius? Since when did quantity equal quality? If that were the case, why doesn’t anybody know who Marilynne Robinson is? Why hasn’t Jhumpa Lahiri or Edward P. Jones sold a bajillion copies of their stuff? *shakes head*

  8. I can’t remember the exact quote or who said it – I’d like to think it was Mark Twain – but there’s few things people despise more than somebody who’s right. Might even be an unforgivable sin in today’s world.

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