Wednesday, July 08, 2015

This Is What I'm Up Against As A Self-Published Author

I have to be honest and admit I've never respected genres of fiction such as "Romance" and what is euphemistically called "Erotica." Lousy writers titillating readers for very cheap thrills and profit. I hardly consider these people "writers" in any meaningful sense of the word, except they put words on paper.

I'm reminded of what Truman Capote said about Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation: "It isn't writing, it's typing." I've always thought of these genres as typing, rather than writing. The word "writing" means more to me than someone who puts words on paper. I guess if Capote can look down on Kerouac, I can do the same for people who publish Romance and Erotica fiction.

But the punchline to the story is this: everybody reads Romances and Erotica, no matter how bad the writing is.

A recent story I found from Google News has brought to my attention that stepsibling Romance novels are now a staple on the best-selling Amazon charts. As I noted recently on this blog, so many people read Romances and Erotica that Scribd had to change their business model so they could make a profit and not pay out so much to authors of these books.

I've always been hopeful that Amazon would toss the Erotica out their door and into the sewer but that would take a huge chunk out of their book sales, so I'm not holding my breath.

For those authors such as myself whose literary aims are a bit higher, it's tough to check the bestseller lists and see what kind of trash the public feverishly consumes. Without question, high quality writers make their way onto the bestseller lists as well, but I think it must give pause to anyone who cares about good writing to see what sells these days.

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