On Reading Bestsellers

Have you ever met someone who only read bestsellers? Or perhaps someone who refuses to do so. I believe I’ve interacted with people on both sides of the question. And neither position makes any sense whatsoever to me.

Let’s start with person #1. Only reads bestsellers. Which means they likely spend more on each book than the rest of us. And they read a pretty small number of authors. Doesn’t really matter to me, but I think they’d quickly adopt the mindset that the books and authors they read are inherently better than everything else. I mean, obviously they’re bestsellers for a reason. Which is downright ridiculous. We all know that sales numbers don’t really reflect the quality of the book. There are some extraordinary books appearing on bestseller lists and not.

Now on to person #2. Doesn’t read bestsellers. They’ve essentially taken the notion that bestsellers aren’t very good books to a whole new level. We know not ALL bestsellers are good books. We get it. But to say that no bestseller is a good book (or to think it) is pretty outrageous. Sorry, Mrs. Rowling. Your books suck. It’s easy to toss around names like E.L. James or Stephenie Meyer as prime examples of this, but shall we start throwing in Stephen King and Margaret Atwood too? No. Of course not.

Both positions are going way too far in their positions. If you want to read bestsellers, then read them. If you don’t, then don’t. But don’t sit there and act like whatever you read is somehow better than EVERYTHING else out there. It isn’t.

What’s your take on reading bestsellers?

PS: I’m not even going to apologize anymore for my sporadic posting times. I can’t do anything about it. I’ll be replying to LOTS of comments when I have time later tonight.

On this day in 2014 I published Publishers Giving Away Books?.



We’ve Brought About Change!

Remember just one week ago when I wrote about the new Clean Reader app that basically censors one’s books? If not, you can read that post here. And you’ll want to. Now back to today. The makers of the app have responded to widespread criticism by removing the ability to buy books directly from the app! And why is this a big deal? Because I think every commenter on that post didn’t like what was happening. That these people were buying books and then trying to change the language of said books.

Now I have to be honest here, I have no reason to believe that the makers of the app read my post. Or that anyone of great importance or influence read it. But many authors wrote blog posts and tweeted and made it very known that they didn’t like that the app’s aim was to censor books. And the makers of the app responded to all of those authors because if Margaret Atwood says something, you better listen. BUT I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that we had some teeny tiny role in what’s happened with this new app. Who knows? Maybe one of you told someone about it and they told someone about it and the cycle just kept going or perhaps no one saw it at all.

It really doesn’t matter. What matters is that the app is struggling to find an audience and that is good for all authors and just about all readers. Because no one should be buying books and then changing what they say. No one. Give yourself a pat on the back if you’re one of the many who didn’t like the idea of an app censoring books.

On this day in 2014 I published World’s Ten Bestselling Authors Since 2001.

Would you Write a Book That you Knew Would not be Read for 100 Years?


Photo Credit: Tales From an Open Book

Margaret Atwood will. As part of a new project called Katie Paterson’s Future Library, author Margaret Atwood has become the first author to submit a work into the project not to be unveiled to the public until 2114. 2114!

Here’s how the project will work. Every year for the next century one book will be accepted into the the project not to be released or published until 2114. So technically Atwood’s is the only book that will go the full hundred years, but still. This means that most of the first 30 or even 40 authors will not live to see their book released. They will have no idea how well it is reviewed or how well it sells or anything at all. Isn’t that a little scary? Think of writing a book. You work maybe three months to get a draft done. Then we’ll say a few more to reach its final draft. Then you print it and put it in a sealed box that won’t see the light of day in your lifetime. I know there are plenty of books that become classics long after the death of the author, but this is different. It’s one thing for people to come to appreciate a work long after it’s been written, but it’s something else completely for no one at all to know anything about a book for so many years.

Not that anyone is knocking on my door for me to submit a book to be included in the project, but I don’t know if I’d be okay with this. Writing a book is difficult, no matter how many an author has written. And this project is taking out all the satisfaction that comes with publishing. That isn’t to say that I think it’s a bad idea. I think it’s pretty great, I’d just have reservations is all I’m saying.

So tell me, if someone asked you to write a book that wouldn’t be released to the public for a full century, what would you say? Would you have reservations? Would you immediately jump at the chance to be included in such a unique project? Would you wonder if your work would find an audience? What would go through your head?

Here is an article written about the project.

Access Katie Paterson’s website here.