Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Not Low Maintenance or I'm #82! I'm #82!

This is a top addition to the post.  I don't make a big deal of trying to find out where any book is in rank because I figure if I break into the top 50,000, with the off-genre women's books or children's books I do, then I'm really doing good.  I can only take so much of comparing myself to Joe Konrath's wild success before I have to eat quite a lot of 72% chocolate and bolster myself back up.  But I happened to go check on NLM and it's

Does it belong in this category?  Blame it on the way Amazon has it set up.  Yes there's a murder.  Yes there's a sort of mystery going on.  Yes there's definitely a legal component big-time to the book.  Is this anything, anything at all, like a John Grisham book?  No.  This is a romantic comedy.  But there's no classification for that.

I'm grateful to all you readers who have purchased this book.  I hope you have enjoyed it.  No one's complained so I guess that's a positive statement.

Back to the original post--

If the deciding factor of a book's worth in tradpub is 20,000 units moved then probably they were quite correct to reject it continually and Not Low Maintenance is one big stinko novel.

If the deciding factor of a book's worth is its ability to engage the reader, then they were quite wrong indeed.  Today marks a new month and there was NLM as predictably the first title sold.

Summer Horse, originally published by Atheneum as Nicki & Wynne, comes with a pedigree since it was published by one of the top houses at the time.  Someone, that would be Jean Karl the well-respected children's book editor, believed it to be a very good book. It does continue to surprise me as my strongest seller, out selling everything.  Sorry, Kate!

I suppose in years gone by, in the age of Malcolm Cowley, he could take a chance on a crazy manuscript written on a roll of paper with no commas.  The writing was vibrant.  It told a story that hadn't been told that way before.  It was an important work.  Oh heck, let's publish On The Road because it deserves to be published.  And 60 years later we're still talking about Jack Kerouac.

That mentality doesn't exist anymore.  A book's intrinsic worth isn't important.  Sales are.

Isn't there a way for tradpub to bring books to readers that are worthwhile but might not sell 20,000 copies?  By the towering remainder tables and such books offered by Dollar Stores and Amazon sellers,  suggests someone is choosing these sure-sellers quite badly.

There are so many reasons why writers are, or should be, turning away from tradpub.  Yes, I know there is the cachet of having what's assumed to be the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval from a "real" publisher.  It's a rush.  When Disney called my agent about Charlie (aka Dream Horse) I was beside myself "Disney knows about ME?!?!?!"  You're not going to get that from epub.  The thrills are different.  And satisfying nonetheless.

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