this is how I decide whether or not to buy a book by a new author:
I read the title. I pick it up. I read the blurb on the back to get a sense of the content. I read the first page
you grab me on the first page and I'll give you a shot
"You may have the watches, but we have the time." - Afghan proverb
From: New Pulp Press <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Sat, Nov 14, 2009 10:57 am
Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: state of NY publishing
*John says* "If publishers/distributors and dedicated genre enthusiasts have to
work hard to sift through this mass, separating wheat from chaff, how much
effort will the more casual reader be willing to put forth? It's not hard to
imagine such readers shortly coming to the conclusion that investing their money
and time in anything other than a well known blockbuster is going to be a
Is that what we're really so worried about? That there are so many choices that
we will no longer be able to tell good from bad? That we will become paralyzed
because bad books are slickly produced so we can't tell the difference? I would
like to believe that we are intelligent enough to determine if a book is
amateurish or sloppy and not buy that book. And how many of us are really buying
books that we haven't heard of simply because the author tells us it is a good
book? Probably none. How about depending on word of mouth from a source you
trust, whether that be a writer or a friend or a reviewer? Wouldn't you then be
willing to check out the book regardless of the publisher? What I seem to be
hearing, from you and Kevin, is that the marketers know best. Whatever they
stick on display at Barnes and Nobles must be good so that's what we need to buy
(Dan Brown, anyone?)
Are there a higher percentage of quality books produced by traditional
publishers compared to indy presses? Probably. But are there hundreds of great
books that never get picked up by major publishers? Absolutely. We're smart
people. We can find those great books. We shouldn't depend on marketers to do it
And Kevin, if you don't know what to do with all those crappy books that people
have sent you over the years, I have one suggestion: throw them out.
--- In email@example.com, "J.C. Hocking" <jchocking@...> wrote:
> Well, in terms of how a bad book (or a whole lot of them) can hurt, Kevin has
a point here...
> "But for readers all POD represents is an often increasingly
> bewildering morass of choices...And the advent of self-published ebooks
> merely means the bar will be set even lower, as to what will be made
> The choice is bewildering for distributors and publishers, too.Â
> At this point there are literally thousands of slickly produced POD books,
manyÂ now outwardly indistinguishable from titles from major publishers.
> The unfortunate truth is that many of these efforts areÂ shockingly amateurish
in everything from plot construction to grammar.
> If publishers/distributors and dedicated genre enthusiasts have to work hard
to sift through this mass, separating wheat from chaff, how much effort will the more casual reader be willing to put forth?
> It's not hard to imagine such readers shortly coming to the conclusion that
investing their money and timeÂ in anything other than aÂ well known blockbuster isÂ going to be a waste.
> JohnÂ Â
> From: jacquesdebierue <jacquesdebierue@...>
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Sent: Sat, November 14, 2009 12:58:28 PM
> Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: state of NY publishing
> Kevin, how does a bad book exactly hurt you (or anybody)? As to the star
system, it never had much to do with quality. It's pure commerce.
> I am puzzled by your rant about how bad most books are... hasn't it always
been so? Pick up the bestsellers of yesteryear and try to read them... I mean bestsellers, not obscure books. Most of them suck, to the point of being unreadable. Then pick up Franz Kafka, who hardly sold anything, and you tell me about literary stardom.
> I think you are overlooking the sheer randomness of "success". In any case,
this list is not about success but about quality. And if that sounds pompous, so be it. Of course, quality and success can go together -- that's the happy ending. But there isn't always a happy ending.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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