Sometimes I wish I was a publisher


I’ve read a few dreary books lately, of which some were on the best sellers list; one was even a Pulitzer Prize winner. Generally I read “Best Sellers” to keep in the loop and for the sake of diversity – it is not a habit I maintain because I’m just not a follower, but I cannot allow myself to ignore a title simply because three million copies were sold. That would be an injustice to the writer. Sadly, many popular titles have failed to satisfy me in a way their reviews or status promise and I often feel like I’ve let the writer down by not adhering to the status quo.

I like intelligent, engaging prose, a flexible, but strong plot and characters that don’t just imitate real life, but epitomise it. Some of the characters in the popular books I’ve read lately are the homogeneous, cut-and-paste variety – the obvious and self-righteous, but cunning hero with blue eyes and a nice hairdo, who you know will prevail; the dark-eyed, rapacious antagonist who always seems to pick meek victims etc. When I’m on a book quest, in which I often spend hours on the net or in book stores sifting through titles, I look for books that are a little off the beaten path, which are presented in a logical and interesting way, whose characters make me believe I know them. But many of these books are published by small firms in small quantities, to be found only by physically hunting them out, or they have been demoted to the clearance shelf because they failed to entertain the masses. Very often this is where I find my gems.

I cannot be alone in my love for quirky, unconventional and unpredictable literature. Which is why I sometimes wish I could be a publisher. I know there is a market for a good literary read. I encourage readers to read the classics, read what friends are raving about, but make some room on the shelf for the less well-known writers, for those books you usually pass on your way to the new releases, for the ones whose subjects you’d usually ignore. After all, readers create the markets.

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About Sharon

Writer, bibliophile, dreamer and student of everything
This entry was posted in ME ON WRITING, Readers and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Sometimes I wish I was a publisher

  1. vanyieck says:

    I wholeheartedly agree. I have nothing else to add, just that you’ve hit it right on the head.

  2. Debbi says:

    Over the years, I have discovered I simply don’t seem to like the same thing as the masses. Practically every book I’ve ever read based on good reviews, I’ve ended up not liking. I, too, have branched out in the last year or so into genres I would never have previously considered, but I find that I don’t enjoy most of them and start counting pages until they’re done! I want a book that has intelligence and is not formulaic. I like a good plot twist. And, if it is a historical fiction, I want to be transported to that time and place without glaring anachronisms. I especially appreciate good research and the opportunity to learn something new.

    I am often disgusted at what really sells these days. So much of it is the same old, same old. I wish there were more publishers like you mention, too!

    • Sharon says:

      Debbi, it’s somewhat confusing that there are more than just a handful of readers who enjoy their literature a little left of conventional, and yet publishers haven’t caught on yet. Thanks for weighing in.

  3. drtombibey says:

    Sharon, Just finished up my first book tour. Having fun. Hope you’ll consider a guest post this Friday. I left it open for you if you’d like to.

    All the best,

    Dr. B

    • Sharon says:

      Dr B, I am so sorry I missed the guest post slot. I was in hospital after having contractions last week and not very well. Still pregnant and still going strong, thank goodness.

  4. jenniferneri says:

    Hi Sharon! Yes, unconventional lit is great! I was recently at a book store and saw a display for the new Jennifer Weiner book. I have never read anything by her and googled her name at home to see what she writes to deserve such a large display. On her website was a page for writers. On she states that as a writer you need to read everything. All genres, all styles, garbage, award winning lit. Something I’ve just been doing in the last year, reading books I would never read. And I have even enjoyed some of them. Hope all is well with you and the pregnancy!

    • Sharon says:

      Hi Jennifer. Everything going great with baby. Almost 34 weeks, got a scan tomorrow. Been nesting like crazy and getting very excited. Hope all is well with your little one too.

  5. drtombibey says:

    Sharon,

    Like me, you search for the tens of thousands of cool, quirky, artistic people and not the millions devoted to mindless mass media.

    Dr. B

  6. pclark138 says:

    Love this post. I feel exactly the same way. Sometimes the soul cries out for something beyond the norm. Sometimes you don’t simply want to be entertained; you want to be captivated and rendered almost speechless. I find myself wanting the same type of book you’ve blogged about here.

  7. Lua says:

    Sharon, you’re definitely not alone in your love for quirky, unconventional and unpredictable literature- I’m right there with you. Which is why I try to keep up and read most of the best sellers ( because I feel like I should be aware of what’s going on in the market as a good reader & a writer) but the books I truly enjoy are the ones I look for for hours in my secound hand bookshop 🙂

  8. niconica says:

    Lol. Awesome post.

    Cheers, Niconica
    http://niconica.wordpress.com

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