Saturday, November 1, 2014

Side Note Rant on Authors

Here's the predicament. Usually in books, and especially in YA, certain plot lines are popular at certain times. First it was the Greek and Roman gods stuff, then it was vampires, then paranormal in general, then it was dystopia, and now you also have the entire new NA category popping out, and it's always something that so in demand - and so in production - that it goes in and out - popular, unpopular - faster than runway fashion. And every time, there's that basic plot line the author must follow to write a book that will sell. Change the names, the genders, maybe the reverse the roles here and there, and add a small plot twist with so much foreshadowing it doesn't even count as a twist. Well, I am being kind of unfair here - some authors really do come up with something different and original - but those are few and far between. 
My point is, a lot of books out there are replicas. Also, with how easy it's become (relatively) to self publish a book, so much literature is being produced, just sitting out there.

Pause for a big disclaimer. There are a lot of awesome self publishing authors. Absolutely amazing. There are a lot of authors who are original and have written magnificent pieces of work. That's not who I'm talking about.

But then the question pops up: what constitutes good writing? And what constitutes a good book? Because there is absolute garbage out there that's popular. And people have the right to read what they want. How can you call a book bad if people enjoy it? People say Twilight is horrendous, while others love it. The idea that bad books should not be published is out there, and agreed upon, I feel. But everyone had different ideas of what should and shouldn't be allowed. There are those who say that self publishing is in general a producer of bad books, because clearly they were rejected by actual publishing companies. That's not necessarily true, and even if it were, I wouldn't call publishing companies very good judges of literature. I mean, some stuff out there is horrendous, but publishing companies want to make money. They'll publish anything people want to read, even if its absolute garbage. But who's to judge what is garbage

There's a lot of stuff out there. Just the sheer amount of information, ideas, just so much stuff. 

The question is, how do you get it all, but only the good stuff?