I try not to be. I accept that there are thousands of writers much better than I am, and that's fair enough. I read many of their books, and thoroughly enjoy them. But...
We live in an age of celebrity. We, as writers, have to face it. And if we are not Names (eg Jeffrey Archer, Jilly Cooper, Wilbur Smith, Hilary Mantel; writers who have worked their way up in the past to well-deserved success), or "celebrities" (Jordan, Pippa Middlleton, Alan Titchmarsh), nowadays, we are in for a struggle.
Take Richard and Judy. Someone pointed out to me today that Judy Finnegan's debut novel is currently no. 430 in Amazon sales; Richard Madeley's is no. 10. These may well be excellent novels, but perhaps it doesn't matter so much if they are not. Richard has (to my knowledge) done two TV interviews about his novel, although probably he doesn't need to, while some of us are lucky if we get a five-minute slot on local radio. The odds are very much against us, whether we are brilliant or pretty poor. It's a fact.
I read a lot of new novels, and some are quite outstanding, like Clare Morrall's wonderful The Roundabout Man. , and yet that novel (for example) is currently at no. 141,000.
So while I enjoy rather than envy those who deserve success, I am sad for much of the publishing industry. Sad, that so many good novels seem to go unnoticed (and largely unread), and some terrible ones do well. It's something we as run-of-the-mill writers have to live with (here, I speak for writers like myself), and do the best we can. We write because we love writing, and accept with pleasure such rewards as may come our way. But it is hard to read a book that is badly written, and possibly even ghost-written, whose 'author' is flying high in the charts, while many of the rest of us just bump along near the bottom (and are very grateful to be published at all).
Friday, 5 July 2013
Am I jealous...?
Posted by Frances Garrood at 15:22
Labels: Best sellers, celebrities
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
One of the factors is the difference between being a writer per se and being a business person and a writer. There are many other factors, of course, but there is one thing certain sure publicity is everything. Lets face it the executive who turned down the Beatles and others who have turned down books and film ideas as being of no merit who have lost fortunes were only failures because someone else saw the potential. It takes that break and that luck as well as a sellable product. Sometimes I really do ramble on. You should have stopped me before I got this far.ReplyDelete
You make some god points, GB, but the Beatles were good! Many publishers turned down Harry Potter, and more fool they. What bothers me is people seeing the name/author, rather than the potential.Delete
I am convinced that there's many a great novel out there nobody will ever know about, simply because the person who wrote it thinks they don't stand a chance of getting published and have never even sent it to an agent.ReplyDelete
It's an unfair world, Frances.
I've never disputed he umnfairness of life, Meike, and like everyone else, I accept it. But as you imply, the reading pulic are being denied a large number of wonderful novels for all the wrong reasons!Delete
It does seem very unfair that today's good books have to be in the shadows. I am now very tempted to read The Roundabout Man - thanks, Frances. xReplyDelete
I started to read Judy's debut book and gave it up after one chapter... What does that tell you?!Delete
I'ts a wonderful novel, Joanna. Gentle and beautifully written. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.Delete
I haven't tried it, Wendy. Too many other books to read!Delete
Life isn't fair Frances.....many people write beautifully/sing wonderfully and yet the people that succeed surprise us......and it is very natural and human for you to feel the way you do.ReplyDelete
It's not myself I feel sorry for, Libby, so much as the writers who really do write first class novels. I'm currently reading for review a novel that comes out in August. It is absolutely stunning. And yet her previous (prize-winning) novels aren't selling particularly well. Why? She's I(relatively) new, probably didn't get enough publicity. I had never heard of her. But hers is the kind of writing that make me just sigh with pleasure!Delete
It is, of course, possible Frances that her novel , however good and well written, just didn't appeal to enough people from the blurb or perhaps the title or the cover didn't appeal. There are so many factors. At least you and she have been published. I read an unpublished novel recently which I thought was both well written and a very good read but it's author can't find a publisher.Delete