Nathan Bransford, Author


Friday, September 19, 2008

This Week in Publishing 9/19/08

I'm off to New York next week for a whirlwind round of approximately 2,274 1/2 meetings, so posting will be sporadic until my return. Now if New York would kindly cooperate and keep its weather below 80 degrees I'd appreciate it. I'm watching you, humidity. Don't get sassy.

It may have been Gut Week in Publishing on this blog, but it was Sequel Week in the rest of publishing. That's because two major, beloved franchises are getting sequels, and not your ordinary "let's just put a sequential number at the end" type either. First, from Penguin's UK blog came word that ARTEMIS FOWL author Eoin Colfer will be writing a sequel to the late Douglas Adams' HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY series. Hyperion will be publishing here in the US. Hope Eoin brought his towel. Meanwhile, Publishers Marketplace brings news that Candice Bushnell just signed a deal with Balzer & Bray to write a YA novel based on Carrie Bradshaw's high school years.

In a move that had me saying "Innnnnnteresting," Sony announced that their Sony Reader would soon be sold in Target stores. The Kindle is still only for sale via Amazon's website. Who wins in the brick and mortar vs. silicon battle of the e-readers? Grab your popcorn and coke, this one is going to be a barnburner.

That sound you heard is the economy melting down! And how are book sales doing? Um... Yeah. Maya Reynolds notes a PW report that book sales took another tumble in July, and are only up 1.7% over last year, compared to 3.2% in the entire retail sector. Blech.

This may explain why telling people to stop writing is a growth industry. Into the territory championed by Sean Lindsay at 101 Reasons to Stop Writing, GalleyCat noted an article by career specialist Penelope Trunk called 5 reasons you don't need to write a book. #4 Reason is that you'll make more money flipping burgers than writing, to which authors everywhere will respond, "Well, YEAH...."

Bestselling suspense author Jeff Abbott noted a recent study on the destructive force of the Internet on writing. Of course, if you're reading this, the Internet is probably distracting you from writing. Ha! The Internet is a clever foe indeed.

My client Jennifer Hubbard, author of the forthcoming BLACK MOUNTAIN ROAD, wrote a seriously awesome post on voice. Among the insightful insights: voice isn't just for first person, and a compelling voice is consistent and yet complex. There's much more, and it's terrific advice.

And finally, you know all those books we were embarrassed we hadn't read? Well, along came British author Richard Wilson with an article on 10 Books NOT to Read Before you Die. Mine is #9, and plenty of popular answers were among those Richard says we shouldn't read.

Have a great weekend!






86 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wanted to read the voice link, but it didn't work. Now I have to go and google her. That's three extra clicks, mister.

Anonymous said...

Not that I don't mind some extra clicking. And thank you for all the great info.

Nathan Bransford said...

Argh. Fixed, anon. Blogger has been randomly messing up about 1 out of every 5 links.

A Shell of Dwight's Former Self said...

I was cheering the 10 Books Not to Read list... right up until he faceplanted on Book #1.

WRONG! OH, so wrong, lazer breath.

Margaret Yang said...

Isn't that Carrie Bradshaw that Candace Bushnell writes about? I think you mean a Carrie Bradshaw teen book, not Carrie Underwood.

Have fun in New York.

Nathan Bransford said...

Thanks, Margaret. Fixed. My goodness, where is my brain?

Michelle Moran said...

Damn. I guess that means I'm not excused from Crime and Punishment...

Have a safe flight!

Anonymous said...

Nathan, you're too cute! Have fun in New York...and oh, what's that I hear? oh yes, Candace Bushnell laughing all the way to the bank as she jumps on the hot YA market bus!

Margaret Yang said...

Your brain must be in New York already. Don't worry, you're just several time zones behind.

(Hmmm, sounds like a good plot for a story. That and the half a meeting.)

Lady Glamis said...

That's a lot of meetings. Good luck.

Yeah, the #1 book really irritated me. Sorry, Jane Austen rocks. I do, however, tend to agree with the other choices. I like LOTR, but don't feel everybody should read it. Or Jane Austen, for that matter. It's only for those of us that like witty humor and poignant social commentary filtered through well-rounded characters.

Sorry if you disagree.

But, you know, I also love Hemingway, Dostoevsky, and O'Connor. Yeah, I'm nuts.

Lady Glamis said...

Oh, and for some fun, quick wit with books you don't want to take the time to read, check out http://www.rinkworks.com/bookaminute/

Kinda silly, but entertaining, nonetheless.

Onovello said...

Interesting list of books. I could think of an equally interesting list of films to avoid....

Elyssa Papa said...

Blogger has been a PITA lately.

Have fun in NYC next week! It's supposed to be nice weather, so welcome to the humidity. *g*

Anonymous Gimp said...

Sequel to Hitchhiker's Guide? That is not allowed! Although I would love it if Douglas Adams came back and wrote another, I don't see how another author can even come CLOSE to his voice....

Anonymous said...

I just read the list of five reasons not to write a book, and I have to say... it wasn't written for actual writers. I was written for those people who want to write for all the wrong reasons. I guess we could call them faux-writers.

Honestly, I don't care how much money I make on writing. I don't care if I become an authority on anything. I write because it's good fun and it keeps me off the streets. And because I can't imagine doing anything else.

I've got this feeling that the people who tell us not to write are like that really nasty Physics teacher you have in college- you know the one I'm talking about. He snarls and barks and tries to discourage everyone, and what he's trying to do is weed out everyone who isn't serious.

Anyway, just my two cents.

Elyssa Papa said...

Okay, and I might be wrong but wasn't there another movie character---I think it was Elle from Legally Blonde---where the author of that book is writing Elle during her high school days.

nomadshan said...

I was just telling my husband that the problem with researching these eInk-enabled eBook readers is that the only look I've been able to get of them is on my computer's backlit screen, rendering the devices' essential "looks like the printed page"-ness moot.

Yay for being able to check one out in person at Target!

Marilyn Peake said...

Loved the L.A. Times article about the Internet! It’s definitely a bright and shiny double-edged sword. I could spend all day on the web, researching places about which I’m writing, chatting with writers, and promoting books. It always surprises me how this can actually interfere with writing, and that I haven’t lost weight when I’m marathon running through Google, researching places as far-flung as China and the International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell, New Mexico. Geez! O.K., I guess I should go write. But, ooooh, look, today is Talk Like a Pirate Day:
http://www.talklikeapirate.com
Arrrrrrrrrrr, shiver me timbers, the web’s such a bright and shiny distraction.

Kristan said...

I haven't read 8 out of those 10 books. :( But I have read #s 1 and 2!

Thanks for the links, have fun in the Big Apple!

LiteraryMouse said...

Not writing is like not breathing. But yes, I agree with anonymous that it sounds as if the author of the list was trying to weed out those people who are writing for the wrong reasons. No, writing probably won't make you rich, it won't make you an authority on anything, but it's fun and fulfilling.

bryan russell said...

Interesting blog there on voice. So right. Voice is so hugely important, I think, because it's so directly connected to a writer's authority on the page, the authority that allows them to convince the reader to keep reading, to convince the reader of the reality of what they're reading. Why is Lolita so brilliant? Because of the voice of Humbert Humbert, and the authority with which Nabokov wields it. The voice itself, I think, is what convinces you.

Thanks for the links.

And you shouldn't have tempted me with the 1000 page memoir written in the second person. I do like a challenge...

Adaora A. said...

I'm very excited for Carrie Bradshaw's teen years but am also wondering if they might persuade her to write Samantha Jones' teen years. Her character is so...so unlike anything you can imagine. It would be amazing to see how she got to where she is/was when the series began.

I predict in 2 years Candice's new young adult novel series on Carrie is gonna become a TV series too.

If you're going to New York then the weather is likely mirroring Toronto's right now. Be prepared for ideal weather. It's sunny with a bit of wind right after 10 am hits. Before that, it's a bit of a chill when you first wake up in the morning. Book your meetings for 11 am and beyond. I hope you have a great time at you meetings and more meetings extravaganza.

lotusloq said...

Ah! Humidity! You gotta love the air letting you know it's there. You should be okay though. It's not supposed to be that hot.

Have fun in NYC! But don't forget us here pining for your bloggage. I may actually have to write and do edits.

Are you going to get to go to any shows between and amongst the 24/7 tide of meetings?

nona said...

I wanted to say "knock 'em dead" but then I thought it was in bad taste.

Break a leg? Too many potholes, not to mention those weird trap doors they have all over Manhattan just gaping open on the sidewalk waiting to swallow up hapless pedestrians.

Merde? They say this in the ballet but again, probably not the thing for someone going to New York, what with all the doggy walking.

Good Luck!

Ulysses said...

I've been following Mr. Lindsay's blog. Until a few days ago, it appeared to be dead and I'm trying to figure out if this is some indication of its effectiveness. Perhaps one side effect of coming up with 101 reasons to stop writing is that you stop writing well before you get to 101.

A Fun Fact Supported Only By My Opinion: every writer loves to have written and absolutely hates having to write in order to achieve that state. I know that when I sit down to write, I become so easily distractable that I'll spend five happy minutes watching a dust mote in a sunbeam. Add in the internet with its myriad of distractions and it's amazing anyone gets any work done at all.

Of course, it may just be me. After all, I'm writing this while I should be doing something else.

Yat-Yee said...

'Tis good for the soul to read someone dissing Homer and Hemingway and the other Important Authors. I even didn't mind that Pride and Prejudice is on the list. Now maybe I'll have the *guts* (see how cleverly I combine two points in this blog?) to write what I think about a couple of books that have had many people gushing, and me, not so much.

Just_Me said...

A Hitchhikers book 6?

How??? Adams killed them all off!

I mean, yes, I hated the ending but it's going to be a neat trick to continue the story of 5 dead friends....

GeekyQuill said...

Holy cow! Another Hitchiker book?!?! Why didn't I know that? I'm all aquiver with mixed up emotions. One part of me says, "Neato!" One part says, "No, it's not allowed!" Then there's the part that says, "Write a Dirk Gently book too."

gerriwritinglog said...

*adds Richard Wilson to the list of arsehats to never listen to again*

People like him irk me. He was probably a jock. That's enough rational to avoid him, given his rational for avoiding LotR readers.

*looks for brain detox*

Verification: ssuru

That's the sound I made when I was reading his article. Heavy on the sarcasm.

Sophie said...

I'm with Lady Glamis and ASDFS on Pride and Prejudice. Mind you perhaps it's proof of greatness- Jane Austen can write a book that is mistaken by some as Mills and Boon, yet is still being read and enjoyed by non-literary types centuries later. She is so good most romantic fiction since has tried to recreate her quality. Talking of Austen imitators, I feel almost as passionate about people dismissing Bridget Jones' Diary and lumping it with all the other books that have come after it. Helen Fielding isn't just chick lit- she created the genre and made me wonder how she knew about my life at the time.

Scott said...

The only way the Internet has hurt my writing is by making me write more, increasing my depth of research, clueing me in to helpful blogs like this one, inspiring me with a wealth of photos and various snippets of intercommunication between peoples world wide, broadening my horizons, and giving me a venue to present my ideas. Oh, wait...I thought they said "help". ;)

Truthfully, if I do 2k when I plan to, I'm good to go. Just means something else in my life suffers for the time I lose clicking madly.

And Fear and Loathing no good? Bah. Who cares about plot, anyway. The book explodes with individuality of expression and eats words alive. And it's fun. What's wrong with fun?

Great entry, Nathan. Enjoy NYC.

Gwen said...

LOL, that "Ten books NOT to Read..." list was pretty amusing. I giggled.

Loren Eaton said...

Ahem ... [pedantic mode ON] It's style people! Style, not voice! [pedantic mode OFF]

Excuse me, please. The fit has passed.

Joseph L. Selby said...

Richard Wilson has low self-esteem. I don't much care for the lord of the rings books. I think they're long and clunky. But I would never create a list of books not to read and include one because people who read it are losers. I have enough self-esteem that I don't choose books to read based on what other people will think of me.

Joseph L. Selby said...

That last post was just a warm up. Now Ima hop on my soap box.

I cannot express with enough certitude or volume how much I hate being told I shouldn't write because it doesn't pay. Anyone who chooses this life for any other reason than they are compelled to do so will not remain here long. The glacial speed of the publishing industry will drive away all but the most obsessed and dedicated; the rest will abandon us in search of easier wealth and fame. Do the naysayers have any idea what happens to me when I stop writing? Am I expected to thank them for their advice because I had never considered flipping burgers instead?

Sure they weren't being so serious when they said it, but think of all those things you read over and over again in query letters that make you want to scream. This is ours. Next person that tells me to stop writing because I won't make anything is getting slapped in the face.

[/soapbox]

Opus P. Penguin said...

I just found your blog and I really enjoyed this entry. And frankly, I'd rather be writing novels than flipping hamburgers -- you get a lot less grease in your hair.

As much as I bemoan the future death of physical books, I'm comforted to know that people will always want stories. And, I have to admit that I'm having a lot of fun with my new Kindle. But is that so wrong?

Huggybear_13 said...

Wow, good list of books, very interesting. Have a safe flight.

June Calender said...

Get thee to New York as soon as possible. Low humidity -- the weather is fabulous; it's exactly what a city should be, cool mornings, nice afternoons. Hope you have time for outdoor cafes and a walk in the play -- please, not all work and no play. Enjoy. I live here and I am looking forward to a fantastic weekend.

Mary said...

Love Richard’s list.

Have a great trip!

Erik said...

The internet doesn't distract me from writing. I may not have finished that chapter today, but I did get it started. Two paragraphs. It's not like I was on twitter all day long posting ... wow, that many? Um ...

Marilyn Peake said...

Hi, Nathan,

I took some time out and followed the links in your Blog...funny, how that’s a perfect example of spending more time on the Internet. :) I feel like a traitor to writers everywhere, but I laughed out loud at 101 Reasons to Stop Writing. I don’t know, maybe 'cause it’s late Friday afternoon and I have an eyestrain-induced migraine from slaving over the computer and struggling to finish a novel while realizing I might never get paid for doing that, and 101 other writing-related frustrations, I just found myself giggling and guffaw-ing over the experience from the other side of the slush pile. For a long time, I’ve suspected, but had no actual proof, that today’s editors are probably looking at slush mountains rather than the piles of yesterday. (O.K., "piles" is a really poor word choice; it really needs to be updated, anyway.) Guess I’ve reached a point where I realize I love writing no matter what, so I’m not too upset by gigantic slush piles. I’ve found avenues to get published, even if the money hasn’t been great; and I know quite a few authors who landed major publishing deals after years of writing, so I know there’s hope.

I enjoyed Jennifer Hubbard’s article on voice. One of the best novels I’ve ever read in regard to voice is The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I heard the author describe in an interview how it took her ten years to write that novel because she concentrated on developing each character’s voice to the point where the reader would immediately recognize which character was speaking no matter what page they opened to. I think she did a magnificent job accomplishing her goal.

I love that Richard Wilson included Ulysses by James Joyce on his list of 10 Books Not to Read Before You Die. I’d love to read that book someday. Years ago, I tried, I really tried, but never got past page 1.

Have fun in New York!

Ulysses said...

I can't help but think that "people having trouble reading Ulysses" does not bode well for my career.

Chatty Kelly said...

Sassy humidity? LOL! I live in VA - as the humidity gets high my hair gets curlier. I end up like Rosanna Rosannadanna in the summer. The humidity is lower now on the East Coast, so enjoy your trip.

And enjoy that 1/2 meeting.

Marilyn Peake said...

Ulysses,

LOL! Well, do you write in stream of consciousness mode? I enjoyed this essay about Joyce's Ulysses:
http://www.editoreric.com/greatlit/books/Ulysses.html
I still hope to read the novel someday; I tried years ago, but not since then. I had the same problem with another stream of consciousness novel, Ancient Evenings by Norman Mailer. Both books are still on my shelf, waiting for me to read them. :)

Belletristic Bloggette said...

Nathan,

Thanks for posting the link about voice. Every time I have been to a conference and the audience asks the editors and agents what they are looking for, in regards to fiction, they reply that they want stories with strong voices. Many members of the audience usually nod their heads while sporting confused looks.

They, like me, were realizing that “strong voice” was a completely ambiguous phrase. What did the agents and editors actually mean?

At one conference I attended someone stuck their hand up and asked the agents and editors to clarify. The panel all looked at each other sheepishly and said something along the lines of, “Well, we know it when we see it.”

Um, yeah. Needless to say many of us walked out of the hotel conference room a bit more confused.

So, there are many examples of novels that encompass a fantastic voice, but do you have any suggestions as to novels that have a not so fantastic voice?

Learning, to me, is all about what works and what doesn’t work and I would love to hear more about the nonworking side.

Also, I might add, this was one of the first subjects I looked up on your FAQS. I was wondering if you might add your thoughts and insights about what makes a good voice and what doesn’t to your FAQ section.

Thanks!

Maris Bosquet said...

Ha! I'm laughing over #9. People should read it just to see why and/or why not to read it!

So what in the world IS up with Blogger???? My betas have been going mildly berserk, and I've been a hair above that, trying to post originals and rewrites. Erg....

Have a good trip, Nathan! Or, as my German friends say, Hab ein gut...no, I simply cannot finish it...

CAM said...

A lot of those ten books not to read were on my uni Lit course reading list....and unless BBC did a mini-series of them I generally avoided them all...actually I can't remember reading any of them.
I must say Ulysses was awful, I stopped not even a quarter way in and used it as a door stop. Our lecturers said it was 'the number one book in the world' - whatever that means - and I can only assume that like modern art where you can sneeze on a canvas and call it art, dear old JJ started that with literature...needless to say if I had handed in a shopping list to my creative writing tutor I would have undoubtedly failed the subject.
BTW I enjoy reading your blog as you have a good sense of humour and make Lit agents seem...well...not scary and mean :)

Julie said...

ok, I liked Lord of the Rings, but in general agree with his sentiments.

Feeling Old said...

Carrie Bradshaw's high school years. Wasn't that a program called, "Square Pegs" back in the 1980s? Carrie takes on Hannah Montana, huh? I suppose it's more marketable than an aging caring solving crimes in, "Carrie She Wrote."

Amity said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amity said...

Not sure what happened there...anyway.

Ditto on the Austen -- she's one of my favorite authors. Not everyone can be readable a few hundred years after the fact. I think the problem is that high schools force people to read Austen before they're ready -- how many freshmen (age 14/15) are mature enough for her? I've noticed that, on average, people who read her for the first time in HS hate her; those exposed to her in college love her. I myself read Emma in HS and have no memory of it; now I love it.

Same with Shakespeare -- how can anyone fall in love with the guy during an hour of torture where classmates perform unskilled, out-loud reading during class?

lvcabbie said...

I think I read the first few pages of one or two of them but the others have always been on my boooooring list.

David Sean said...

-I'm writing stories in a blog I started recently. If you ever have the time, I would like you to check out the beginning of my first story. My family and friends all say it's pretty good, but none of them are literary agents. So I would like your construcive criticism and your advice.

http://dsstories.blogspot.com/

Lonely Paul said...

Hello

nona said...

"I can only assume that like modern art where you can sneeze on a canvas and call it art"

I'm not really scary and mean either, and I love everyone on this blog (really) but I do take exception to that last point.

If a person doesn't like a painting they can just roll their eyes and walk away from it whereas reading a book from cover to cover requires a significant investment of time as well as effort.

That's probably why I end up skimming so many of them. A page here, a paragraph there.

Luv u

Anonymous said...

I don't like his list so I made my own:

1. ATLAS SHRUGGED
2. THE SHIPPING NEWS
3. LIFE OF PI
4. NINETEEN MINUTES
5. ALL THE PRETTY HORSES
6. TWILIGHT
7. THE FIRM
8. GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING
9. THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES
10. ANY 'CHICKEN SOUP' BOOK

Jeanne said...

Anonymous made me chuckle. Good list.
Bushnell writing books for my kids? I don't know if I can handle that. I'm a fan - sort of. I watched "Sex" religiously on HBO (in my bedroom with the door closed and the volume on low to protect all the innocents in the house.) And I've read several of her books. They're good summer porn. Great to read in the waiting room of the dentist office, if you don't mind blushing in public. But, I'm not ready for CB to write for my daughter.
Obviously, someone else thinks differently. I imagine a lot of allowance money will be spent at Barnes and Nobles without parent's permission on the teen life of Carrie Bradshaw. Just as it was spent on "Forever" by Judy Blume when I was 13.

Erik said...

Just so you know, I did get that chapter done today. No distractions from the internet! Well, *this* one. :-)

spinregina said...

There should be a rule that there should be no sequels allowed written by anyone other than the author. Like when they did that with Gone With the Wind; that was ridiculous. If anyone wants to write the the original Hitchhiker books, then WRITE YOUR OWN. (Sorry, I feel strongly about this.)

spinregina said...

I'm sorry, that made me so mad about the sequel to HGTTG that I wrote about the first time I picked up the original and I want to know - do other people think it is a good idea to have author's try to ride coattails and do sequels like this???? you can vote on my blog on www.spinregina.blogspot.com you'll notice that the one vote thus far is NO and it is from me. No, never, ever. Period.

Wanda B. Ontheshelves said...

Hi Erik,

Re: "Just so you know, I did get that chapter done today."

Good for you. Bravo.

Wanda B.

Kate H said...

Richard Wilson, I thumb my nose at thee! But what can you expect from a television producer? Several of his "don't bother"s are among my favorite books. I was one of those people carrying LOTR around in high school. I wonder what people like Wilson carry so that I'll know at a glance I have nothing in common with them. Maybe a handheld video player . . .

by Ambrosia and Epiphany said...

Thanks for the wealth of information as usual and Welcome to the NY!

Moth said...

Maybe for next week's This Week in Publishing:

Jane at the Dear Author Book review site posted a very interesting post on "Why Literary Fiction Should Embrace Digital Publishing".

Here's the link if you're interested:

http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/2008/09/21/why-literary-fiction-should-embrace-digital-publishing/

SexyMama said...

Hello Nathan,

cool how u get yr writing juices, on any topic! flow so easily...any tips wld be oh so great!


My BREASTS, My Business!!
http://confessionsofabreastfeedingmama.blogspot.com/

bloggersmosaic said...

really awesome some extra clicking

Scott said...

Here's my comment about books - I love the feel of the pages in my hand; which is why, an e-reader is not on my top 100 list of things I need to buy in the near future. I love to go into Borders and browse - for hours - through the shelves, picking up books, reading the jacket, and then flipping through and reading a paragraph or two to decide whether I want to buy the book or not. I have, once or twice, bought a book solely because of the paper of the pages (Abarat by Clive Barker was one of those books). So, for me, forget the e-readers. Just give me a good book, a rainy day, and endless hours to read.

Adaora A. said...

I don't understand how people can NOT like Jane Austen's works, nor Hemmingway, and a lot of other stuff which made the list. But the beauty of the industry is the variety alongside the selectivity.

JayJay Rush said...

I've read five of the "Ten books not to read..." So much life wasted

Just recently found your blog, and guess what, I'm a writer... I think.

Thanks for the blogs, they are very informative.

JayJay Rush said...

and I read two on anonymous' list...

Do I just read too much?

kilo verme said...

Among the insightful insights: voice isn't just for first person, and a compelling voice is consistent and yet complex. There's much more, and it's terrific advice

botoks kremi said...

But, you know, I also love Hemingway, Dostoevsky, and O'Connor. Yeah, I'm nuts.

zayıflamak said...

Nathan, you're too cute! Have fun in New York...and oh, what's that I hear? oh yes, Candace Bushnell laughing all the way to the bank as she jumps on the hot YA market bus!

telecomladyj said...

Oh my! I hope that '10 Books' article was not written seriously!
The number 1 is one of my favorite books.
And I didn't like what he had to say about us Dune-reading Peter Gabriel fans. 0_0

Helen Ginger said...

Totally agree with Jeff Abbott. The Internet has begun to eat up my day. Need to cut back, but on what exactly? Something's gotta go, that's for sure.

Chris said...

Very excited to see a new Hitchiker book, albeit a bit wary to see what it will be like without Adams' input.

Sally's Chateau said...

A home without books is a home without a heart, anyway writing is massively theraputic and it's free, thats a good thing huh ?

AR said...

I recall reading a story somewhere about the youngest boy in a family of boys, all farmers. One day he made a comment about the beautiful colors in a rainbow and he was shouted down by his scornful brothers. They said he was talking like a woman and never to mention the beauty of color again.

Later the boy found out that every male in his family except him was colorblind.

The list of books not to read looks like a list of books to be avoided by the art-blind. A true work of art does not divulge its treasures to those who don't know how to dig into it. A work of art is an object of contemplation. To enjoy it requires the developement of patient contemplation.

What is a person missing out on if he never develops this capacity for patient contemplation of art? Well, let's just say that there's a world of difference between the quality of enjoyment you derive from entertainment and the quality of enjoyment you derive from art. People like the author of this list are impoverished souls, not authorities on matters of such importance to society. To shift metaphors, I don't think we need to pay much attention to the opinions of people addicted to dime candy, on whether rare steak and gourmet salads are really worth trying out.

Perhaps the only way in which I could connect with this list at all is to agree it's silly to read a book just because it's considered "important" and you're embarrassed not to have. Delight is the only good reason to read. Still, the capacity for delight must be developed.

I like to tell people to start with Dr. Seuss.

the Amateur Book Blogger said...

Who would parent Carrie Bradshaw? LOL.

Hope NY is treating you well.

What do you think of this news over at You Write On - Arts Council funded YouWriteOn.com will publish for free the first 5,000 writers who contact them - Fiction & Non-Fiction.

It's a genuine site with proven track record. It is still self-publishing, but with a twist.

winsolu said...

Interesting blog there on voice. nice :)

adslblogs.blogspot.com said...

very nice.

Anonymous said...

dear joseph selby,

(1) Hear hear! I see no problem with him giving his opinion about these books, but how ludicrous to tell other people it's a waste of time to read any book that has inspired generations of readers and writers.

(2) Hear hear! Nuff said.

Brian said...

Thanks for the posts. I am researching agents, publishers, and how to promote books now because I am in the process of writing a book. I also started a blog for new writers to share their experiences. The-New-Author.blogspot.com
An agents point of view in that mix would be great as we new authors need all the information we can get. Thanks again for the insight and keep up the good post.

Fantasticos Ganymede said...

"Eoin Colfer will be writing a sequel to the late Douglas Adams' HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY series."
And then going straight to hell, I hope. What's next? Letting McG loose on Citizen Kane II: Xanadu Nights?

Karin Zirk said...

OK I confess. This website is distracting me from work (I'm a database administrator when I'm not practicing my writing) and the SQL query from hell against junk data that is supposed to uncover something meaningful. But when the powers that be can't even provide a list of who works here, I don't know how I'm supposed to validate their existence.

--The zen of data management.

Mojo said...

yep, I heard penelope speak, and she was pretty adament about that one... although she did say that if you insist on writing a book (like she did...), make sure it's about something new and valuable, not just a book for the sake of you ego/ amusement. guess that makes sense... you have to find a niche and say something new for people to find you amid the millions of books being published--not to mention the wealth of online media clogging public discourse, of which I suppose we are a part, as bloggers.

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