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Great Authors who are ignored probably because they haven't been on a reality show


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Initial post: 19 May 2013 19:49:46 BDT
So many really great authors but they don't sell their soul on tv, like Graham Joyce, Jonathan Coe and Geoff Ryman but what's in WH Smiths katie price Strange world.

Posted on 19 May 2013 20:12:36 BDT
schwartz says:
The fact is, celebrity biographies are guarenteed sales for publishers and booksellers. Any work of fiction, unless it it written by well known and popular author, is a risk. You can't really blame WH Smiths. They are just catering to the majority of the reading public's demand.

Posted on 19 May 2013 20:17:50 BDT
I was not blaming WH Smiths I am blaming the moronic public.

Posted on 19 May 2013 21:05:46 BDT
I Readalot says:
Okay I am a bit biased because I work in one, but that is where Independent bookshops have the edge over the chains. Of course we stock the best sellers but the most satisfying thing is bringing an unknown/little known author to the attention of customers. There have been times when customers have read a review of a book in the press and have been surprised to see we have it in stock. It does get a bit depressing when I sell endless copies of the latest big thing while far better books are bypassed though and I frequently get the 'they were on TV last night' kind of remark.

Jasper Fforde is another one, he has built up a solid fan base but it has taken years and he still isn't exactly a household name.

Posted on 19 May 2013 21:09:33 BDT
Last edited by the author on 19 May 2013 21:11:14 BDT
Obelix says:
Jonathan Coe isn't exactly an unknown, Nicholas; and his best-known book, The Rotters' Club, was televised.

Furthermore, branding the public 'moronic' might strike most people as a tad counter-productive.

Posted on 20 May 2013 10:21:55 BDT
And can you find his last great book "The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim" anywhere other than Waterstones and here on good old Amazon? what other word is there for a katie price fan over the age of 13?

In reply to an earlier post on 20 May 2013 10:25:41 BDT
Funny you should say that, this all started after a conversation with a friend of mine who works in Smiths, will check Jasper Fforde cheers : )

In reply to an earlier post on 20 May 2013 20:37:51 BDT
Last edited by the author on 20 May 2013 20:42:54 BDT
Obelix says:
'And can you find his last great book "The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim" anywhere other than Waterstones and here on good old Amazon?'

Here in Lichfield it's available at both Smiths and the library. It's fairly good, though hardly in the same league as What A Carve Up!, The Rotters' Club, or his superb biography of B. S. Johnson.

Sorry if you've had rougher luck, but I trust you'll agree that taking it out on the reading public isn't the answer...?

'what other word is there for a katie price fan over the age of 13?'

'Reader'?

In reply to an earlier post on 20 May 2013 21:58:03 BDT
Sorry to burst your bubble 'schwartz' - you get into WH Smiths by paying money (and very big money at that - invariably the top authors or celebs have that sort of money and the 10%-20% agents who make it happen). So I do blame WHS who like the politico's and the bankers are actually catering to their own bank accounts!

Posted on 20 May 2013 22:19:56 BDT
schwartz says:
WH Smiths are a buisness, not a chartity. I would not expect them to sell anything that is not profitable to them. If they get it wrong they will go the same way as Woolworths or Zavi. I'm not sure what bubble you think you are bursting? You get into their stores by producing a product they can make money on. A lot of what is profitable does not appeal to me, but they have to cater for the majority of their customers.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 May 2013 22:29:04 BDT
gille liath says:
Yeah, but it becomes a vicious circle doesn't it? Like music - the industry puts all its energy into promoting a few trashy lowest-common-denominator things. Those are all that most people hear about, so naturally all they want to buy.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 May 2013 23:05:23 BDT
schwartz says:
Very true. The music industry especially, with the X-factor friendly acts dominant, seems to be converging on very narrow trends. At least schools force everyone to give the classics of literature a try whether they like it or not!

I do really worry about what will happen if the likes of HMV and Waterstones go under. That would leave the supermarkets as the only big highstreet retailers of books and music, and they will never cater for anything but the most popular lowest common denominator market.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 May 2013 12:02:06 BDT
Yes that's nail'd it a vicious circle, it's like anything, most people purchase whatever is promoted the most, so the advertising agents are in control, and they don't want arty people who are unpredictable, no, much better a face of the tv, get a ghost writer to put some old rubbish together and make million's!

In reply to an earlier post on 21 May 2013 12:05:10 BDT
It's fairly good, though hardly in the same league as What A Carve Up!, The Rotters' Club, or his superb biography of B. S. Johnson. well that's just a matter of opinion.
Ok I will relent brainwashed then.

Posted on 21 May 2013 12:30:30 BDT
M. Dowden says:
Sometimes good books get higher sales due to word of mouth. Personally I hate those posters you see at bus stops for certain authors, to me it cheapens them, although I suppose this is something that we have to put up with. One thing though you have to remember with Waterstones is that you are subtly being 'led' to what to buy. Those stands at the front of the stores with those books on, the publishers have paid to have their wares put there. Indie bookshops are the best when it comes to browsing. : ) I love the supermarkets when it comes to buying a chart book cheap, but there is no choice otherwise, although there are a few more books in the larger stores.

Personally I think that these rubbish celeb biogs sell because people think that it could be them one day, and tv and our education system has 'dumbed' people down. My dad pointed out to me something the other month. Every time there is a break in a documentary, when we come back to the programme we are given a recap on what happened before. Come on, we don't need it, our memories aren't that bad.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 May 2013 18:49:18 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 May 2013 18:50:10 BDT
Obelix says:
"well that's just a matter of opinion."

Bolstered by greater sales, acclaim and awards, in fairness.

"Ok I will relent brainwashed then."

It's not a conspiracy, my friend. And 'brainwashed' still has the faint reek of snobbery about it. Never forget that the more a trend gets pushed, the quicker it tends to burn out, and something else takes over.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 May 2013 18:59:15 BDT
M. Jolliff says:
Ah, but the 'mob' are fickle and composed of individuals and so the forces of chaos contrive to prevent uniformity. Or in other words, try as they might, our Corporate rulers (lacking omniscience) fail to reduce us to an Orwellian state. If you bother to look around there is interesting stuff available to be found.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 May 2013 19:21:36 BDT
In some respects your post is quite bizarre. You seem to blame TV and the education system for people's tastes (the quality of literature is, and always has been, subjective). Those who complain about modern standards and teaching (including me) often do not realise that you have been through the same process and are no different. A previous education system has programmed your tastes although you probably do not realise.

When in comes to literature (fiction) the public has indicated the work of E L James is 'good'? Their opinion is reinforced by financial pledges. For many of those readers their opinion of E L James work can almost be described as 'free thinking' - simply because they read a book and liked it. They rarely read other books because they don't like them.

On the other side of the coin are the 'educated' literary snobs. These people sneer at modern popular works in favour of 'classics'. However, I've yet to meet a well-read person with their own opinion, their opinions seem to be formed not from the work itself, but from the opinions of others.

Why is "William Shakespeare" good? Why do you like his plays. It's a simple enough question but you'll rarely get an answer not based on research of others. You have been *taught* of Shakespeare's talent - this is why you think he is was great.

The same people who praise him after education would ridicule him if he joined this forum as a newbie today - clearly the man has no talent. He could not spell his own name with any degree of reliability.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 May 2013 19:36:44 BDT
Still just matter of opinion, sales mean nothing where quality is concerned, you brought the word conspiracy up, but seeing as you have are you so naive to think advertisements don't try every trick in the book, to play on peoples insecurities? is that not a form of brainwashing?
My friend, is that not being patronizing?

In reply to an earlier post on 21 May 2013 19:44:38 BDT
gille liath says:
'If you say so' on all counts. :)

In reply to an earlier post on 21 May 2013 19:46:52 BDT
I know, but being cursed with the power of omniscience I know katie price is evil.

Posted on 21 May 2013 19:49:13 BDT
monica says:
I think OP forgets that H.G. Wells and D.H. Lawrence would be utterly unknown today had they not become celebrities by competing on the music-hall stage in the show 'Writes and Rungs!', a wildly popular Edwardian precursor of both Takeshi's Castle and Pop Idol.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 May 2013 19:51:07 BDT
M. Jolliff says:
Did you know that John Brunner prophesied her in all but name in [[ASIN:1857988361 Stand On Zanzibar] back in '68]. Check it out.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 May 2013 19:52:21 BDT
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In reply to an earlier post on 21 May 2013 20:13:48 BDT
M. Dowden says:
Michael Scott, I hope you are joking about Shakespeare having no talent. I never studied Eng. Lit. at school, only language. In fact there was only one Shakespeare play we ever did, that was Henry VI part 1. We all took different parts and real aloud, and then was asked what we thought of it, hardly being told why he was great. That Shakespeare spelt his surname differently at various times doesn't take away from his skills, and lets face it there are at least 16 known ways to spell Shakespeare. Do you like Frankenstein? Mary Shelley was hopeless at spelling, so her manuscript had to be tidied up before publication, if she was alive now and just stuck it on kindle it probably wouldn't get more than 1 star, because people would get up reading it.

Shakespeare is great, you read say King Lear and it comes alive, you can imagine the story although you have to put in some work to feel the different emotions. What he puts down on the page feels real, obviously not always his comedy characters, and you can follow the story. Not all his plays are good, Henry VIII, which was co-written, isn't that good, and when they did the special effects it burnt down The Globe. : )

Just think on this with the current education system, there are people claiming that they can read Middle English because they have read a book from the late 19th Century - I think not. And the one I really love is that this book reads quite old, as if it was written in the Twenties (if I remember rightly that was a book written in about the 1840s).

Great fiction is something that takes you by the balls, it makes you want to carry on reading, makes you feel involved in and living the story, that makes you think long after you have finished the book, and makes you want to read it again. Unfortunately the current trend amongst younger readers is that if a book is over 350 pages long, then it is going to be difficult, boring, and way too long.
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  17
Total posts:  152
Initial post:  19 May 2013
Latest post:  28 May 2013

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