RARA-AVIS: Re: Genre Fiction Will Die!

From: jacquesdebierue (jacquesdebierue@yahoo.com)
Date: 01 Jul 2008

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    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, Patrick King <abrasax93@...> wrote:

    > As an writer trying to publish a first crime novel, agents are
    telling me that fiction and genre fiction in particular are very hard markets to crack right now. Several agents have explained to me that Publishers are looking for books they can sell in large quantities to institutions and schools. Non-fiction is more popular than it ever has been. Most new books published today are non-fiction books. The fiction being published is by established writers with bankable track records or authors with notoriety of one sort or another. Reading for entertainment apparently is at an all-time low.

    True about nonfiction books, but that has been the case for a while. Also, a lot of very fine writers have gone into nonfiction. Before, they would perhaps have gone for the novel. Last night I was reading a book of essays by Barry Lopez, a fantastic stylist writing about down to earth things, nothing glamorous, just stuff and shit.

    > I am not of the opinion that genre fiction will die off. Hollywood
    is notoriously unimaginative and has always required novels to spin their plots. I have been told by many people that as the cost of television channels goes higher and higher they are returning to books for entertainment and information. I'll believe this when I see it, but people are saying it. In the meantime, television shows become more elaborate and expensive and more frequently based on novels.

    We are entering a very big depression. My bet is that books will hold their own. People are going to have to get back in touch with reality after the long oil fiesta and the era of acquisitiveness, essentially a fantasy. A writer who spins a good tale is a good companion, and will be more so in hard times. The book is here to stay.

    > Nonetheless, if you go into that local bookstores struggling to
    survive in most small cities, and note the new title offerings, there is very little new fiction and what is offered is by long established authors. That which is empty fills... hopefully.

    Actually, the number of books published continues to be high. In the hardboiled and noir genres, the number has shrunk but the quality has markedly improved. People will continue to write fiction and they will find readers. Especially if the public becomes less busy, as is bound to happen. When life is about staying where you are, picking up a book is a very reasonable option (as opposed to going to the mall to buy more useless stuff). Reading is like sex: you need technique, you need time, but above all you need relaxation.



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