What does a bookshop do which nobody else can? And what has it got to do with why my bad memory can make even the hardiest, most optimistic author’s heart sink, and whether or not my family ever read this blog?
It is a little-known fact that the old trope of a piano falling on someone’s head was inspired by every Irish person ever who felt proud of themselves for even five minutes. In this post I deal with misplaced pride, indie publishing scams, bogus bestsellers, my difficult childhood, and why if you want to be original, you should never read anything written by anyone else. Ever.
It’s time you stopped blaming that book you wrote or recommended for the fact I didn’t like it. It’s time you started blaming me instead. With a little help from quantum physics, I explain why loving any book is a miracle, why my bad mood became your problem, and why writing a book is like putting an unseen cat in a poisonous box.
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.
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.
No matter how good a Grip-Lit book is, there are only so many psychological thrills we can stomach in a row. With the help of some tenuous and downright cheesy food metaphors, this week I’m asking you: what’s for dessert? What do you, the reader, want to read next? Shouldn’t we, the actual consumers have a say?
I want to blow my mind with a book, but the publishing world is consistently offering me the literary equivalent of aspirin. Unfortunately, what I want doesn’t seem to fit into those narrow marketing categories which now dictate everything we read. Don’t they know that the biggest blockbusters of the last few decades didn’t fit in either, and that’s kind of the bloody point?
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?