Amazon have been accused of gaming the system – or perhaps the algorithm – in favour of books published by their own imprints. But are they really as bad as we fear? I know they’re huge. I know they’re watching us. But how scared should we be? And is there ever a case for a benevolent dictator?
Amazon’s algorithms don’t like the concept of General Fiction. If books are being sold more on the basis of genre than content, is content changing to suit genre fads? I think so. And if you’ve ever read a book which promised something it didn’t deliver, or seemed like two different plots or styles clumsily slapped together, you might think so, too.
Historical fiction can be a refuge for people exhausted by modern problems or fearful for the future. A panacea for all today’s ills. Nobody is more reassuring than the hero of a historical fiction novel – the man who has the answers to everything whilst somehow also understanding the consequences of his actions.
But what would it be like to live with a historical fiction hero? Would it make life simpler? Or might dead pigeons and his fear of toasters make it a generation gap too far?
Cookery books are always popular, so I’m finally jumping on the foodie blogger bandwagon with my own recipe. In other news, the numbers behind book sales can be a lovely thing, but only if used for good. Unfortunately this information is currently being used for evil, which means I’m about to get ranty.
Romantic heroes. Sigh. All that tortured power in a designer shirt. So much angst and wealth. So little practicality, and mental health. Because they’ve been hurt before – y’know? But you would never do that. It’s different with you.
But what really happens after ‘The End’? When dietary fibre and la vie quotidienne get in the way? What would it really be like to LIVE with a tortured romantic hero?
It’s harder than ever to get published by writing original fiction. So why bother? Why not just reimagine a proven bestseller with a tweak of genre, or a change of setting, and call it your own? If it works in politics…
So how about writing The Bourne Identity as a lifestyle thriller set in IKEA? What if fans of Stephen King wanted to see his take on YA Romance? Would The Hunger Games work as a diet book?
It’s the time of the year where we look back on my predictions for 2016, which I cunningly disguised back in January as a futuristic review of what had already happened. So how right or wrong was I? What implications does this have for the global power framework? Will I be a benevolent dictator? And do you have any jellybeans?
You love the cops in crime novels. So careworn, and yet mysterious. They have money, and yet never spend it on themselves. Granted, being married to one is just asking for trouble. But you could just share a house with one, right? That would be exciting, and spice up your humdrum existence no end!
Let’s take a look, and see if you might want to think this through a little more…
There are certain classic novels which we all know, because they’re still widely read today. But what would they look like if they were being published for the first time this year? Would Jane Eyre fit the Domestic Noir genre profile? Would the numerous plot strands of Bleak House be dumbed down? Who would supply the perfect cover quote for Robinson Crusoe? And who would dare to pigeon hole Ulysses? I would, that’s who.