Anna’s recent comments on the increasingly risk averse nature of mainstream publishing and the efforts new writers are making to find their audience have gotten me thinking…
Led by a knowledgeable approach to a quickly changing industry, CN has quickly grown a wealth of original novels and non-fiction in addition to scores of eager online readers.
Why do mainstream publishers opt for celebrity mush when there is such an abundance of new writing online? You’ve only to look at the tweets of many of the various publishing houses on the feed on CN’s front page to note the multitude of book promotions for celebrities and established authors. CN is living proof that if you put well written fiction online people will read and enjoy it. Why go for Danni Minogue, when you could have something highly original such as Um and Ah and the Problem with Chlorine by Kiera Dickinson?
You buy a CD/MP3 if you like a song you’ve heard.
You buy a book – Why? The cover? The blurb? The fact that writer is well known? A review? To look hip on the tube?
If the novel can be read online isn’t it going to be the writing itself that sells a book and not merely the marketing?
If a publisher were to trial new writing online, on a central site such as CN, and then promote those books and writers that are most popular wouldn’t that be a way of limiting risk and prove far more interesting than having to spend your day finding new ways to promote Jordan’s latest ghostwritten blockbuster?
Logical argument there Howard…but when you consider that publishers flog a genre to death for a few years then leave it to rot until they assume it is worthwhile a further flogging. One wonders about the logic that drives publishing…short term gain only it appears when in fact a select list in all genres will ensure a nice tickover all round…here we see the logic of modern business practice…short term gain in case you fall flat tomorrow…make a killing while you can…
I may have it all misconstrued but somehow I think not…the evaluation is based upon comments from agents and feedback when my agent was trying to sell my works…combined with ideas portrayed in MBA course material that colleagues were studying a few years ago…I cant be wrong about all areas…in this case unfortunately, I wish I was and the industry was operating on more logical level but there we are…one cannot deny what exists…well you can…as seem archaeologists and historians have a habit of proving.!
Hi Harry, I guess the bottom line to achieve the most likely chance of getting your excellent books published in our fickle times is to find a more sellable angle to market your work. Hype, controversy, sex. A publisher probably isn’t going to start salivating at the thought of another book on the Trojan War but they might picture in their mind a glossy cover of the beguiling Helen of Troy, the face that launched a thousand ships.
I wrote a novel set in Colombia and the civil war it has been immersed in for the past 50 years reasoning it was only a matter of time before Bush & Co’s meddling would create well publicised mayhem but, unfortunately, the topic seems to be as popular with agents and publishers alike as the proverbial rattlesnake in a lucky dip. Ho-hum.
Thanks for the greatly appreciated description of the works but if I turned them into hyped up novels your welcome words would no longer apply!
In fact what you are suggesting was precisely what one historian based in France was told a year or so back…he put an essay on Andrew Lownie’s site to that effect!
So it seems that between us we have it sussed! At least how it works…