14 responses

  1. Kat Kan
    March 26, 2012

    Very true, and well said. I have made an effort throughout my professional life as a librarian to seek out new (and new-ish) writers and their books, and to promote them to my young patrons. I also make an effort to seek out new and new-ish writers for my personal reading. I just hope the publishers will keep publishing mid-list titles for people like me to discover.

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  2. Carrie
    March 26, 2012

    Well said!
    As a writer who is currently being “nurtured” with a quieter book coming out in the fall, I so appreciate finding new voices and supporting upcoming novelists.

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  3. S. P. Hendrick
    March 26, 2012

    So true. By year’s end I will have 9 books out there with a small company (Pendraig Publishing) in paper and ink as well as all e-formats (and hopefully audiobooks shortly if Peter Paddon, my publisher, finds time in his busy schedule to do them), yet outside of Amazon and Barnes and Noble and a very few independent book stores, no one will carry them because they are not with a major company that can eat them if the store decides to order 100 copies and then unceremoniously rip off the covers and send them back for a full refund.

    I hold down a full time job to support my writing and hold no illusions that I will ever be able to support myself as a writer unless my name is Dan Brown or J. K. Rowling. I have a following, but it is not huge, and I adore going to conventions to sign my books, but other than that, the best I can do is keep writing and hope one of my novels falls into the right hands and makes enough of an impact to take both series to the next level…film.

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  4. Mary McDonald
    March 26, 2012

    I hear from my local kids bookstore that more and more parents will only buy the blockbuster books for their kids and refuse to expand their young readers’ collections with any of the “if you liked that book, you might like this book” suggestions which is how people built their home libraries in the past. Also, nobody wants to hear about ” When I was your age I enjoyed reading___”.
    It’s as if they are only reading so they can keep up with the social banter.
    I read the Hunger Games trilogy and the Wimpy Kid and Harry Potter, etc. but I also read many other books in between and generally the ones I find three layers deep in the you might like pile are the ones that stay with me longest.

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  5. JM de Biasi
    March 26, 2012

    I am a HUGE believer in the little bookstore and well informed staff. I go to Changing Hands in Tempe, which once was walking distance but now is only a monthly visit as it is an hour drive away. I read classics and buy favorite current authors like Fforde, James Owen, Charles de Lint , John Scalzi and CM Priest (none of whom are household names but all should be)as their new stuff appears, but have also read many amazing little known authors thanks to their recommendations. Through my favorite book sellers I discovered most recently Laini Taylor and what a discovery her storytelling is! Thanks for this blog. I will see Hunger Games although I am sure the “movie” in my head looked a LOT different but I also faithfully invest in the future of good storytelling with my meager income.

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  6. Alex Washoe
    March 26, 2012

    I think you’re right about the “blockbuster-or-bust” syndrome at big publishers — but there’s a long term benefit to successes like “The Hunger Games”, “Harry Potter” (and yes even — it pains me to say it — “Twilight”) and that is they create a whole new generation of readers — they hook and draw in kids who otherwise would not be interested in reading at all. And once they’re hooked, a lot of them will stay interested. So, whatever happens in publishing — and it’s going to change in ways we haven’t even imagined yet — these blockbusters at least keep the love of reading alive. And that’s a good thing.

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  7. Kerri
    March 27, 2012

    I am so honored by all the comments on this post! Many thanks to all above, and let me try to respond a bit. @Kat–Thanks, and I hope so, too!! @Carrie & S.P.–You go, Writers! LAnd if you have any short pieces on your hard-drive, send them to us, since it sometimes works out that we can coordinate a story/essay/poem with the release of a book. @ MAry–So sad about the parents in the bookstore. I am not even sure I understand why parents would have such an attitude. If the kids wants to read, let him/her read, right? @JM–I used to work at an indie bookstore and I loved nothing more than talking books and recommending them to the customers! @ Alex–Very true, and well-said. Though I’m a fan even of Twilight (there’s no accounting for taste, I guess), I still try to do what my parents encouraged me to do when I was younger, and temper my “light” reading with heavier pieces of serious literature.

    Keep the comments coming!

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  8. Karen Klink
    April 1, 2012

    I agree wholeheartedly. Only the problem isn’t going to go away. The real question is: Can we do anything about it? How can we pull those young minds toward those other wonderful books after they’ve been hooked by Hunger Games? Maybe YARN should start a column (or something) that anyone interested can submit ideas to. Let’s find a way to take advantage of this phenomenon.

    I was at the Tucson Book Festival a couple weeks ago and was amazed by all the kids attending. There was a section just for them.

    Let’s brain blitz.

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  9. Kerri
    April 2, 2012

    Great minds think alike, Karen! Since we had such a strong response to this blog, both on and off this page, my wheels have been turning about how YARN can point readers in the direction of lesser-known writers more than we already do. I am hatching plans, so stay tuned! And thanks so much for sharing.

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  10. Jacqueline Jules
    May 6, 2012

    I’m joining this discussion late, but I’d like to say that you’ve eloquently stated a serious problem in the publishing industry. The blockbuster mentality reduces the availability of quality reading material for all of us. Nurturing independent bookstores and mid-list authors is important to the future of good literature.

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  11. Jon
    July 26, 2012

    Blockbuster or bust is a horrible mentality but clearly where the publishers are going! Looking forward to your non-blockbuster summer list!

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  12. Kerri
    August 8, 2012
  13. Kerri
    August 8, 2012

    And contribute, please!

    Reply

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