Recently Jodi Picoult was quoted in an article about the dramatic change in sales of The Cuckoo’s Calling when it was revealed to have been written by J.K. Rowling (as opposed to newbie author Robert Galbraith). Picoult said, “The message is that it’s very hard to publish in this market as an unknown – which is a crying shame.”
The article goes on to state that Picoult leverages her popularity to assist new writers by, “tweeting their maiden book launches and writing blurbs for their book jackets.”
Another writer is quoted as saying, “[J.K.] Rowling is not just a writer, she’s an institution, an ethos. She’s a magnet.”
It is nothing new, but it does rather feel like the publishing business is hurtling speedily toward a culture more like that of Hollywood. With the increasing expectancy that writers will step out from behind the screen/typewriter/pencil and paper to engage their audiences both physically and online, there is the potential to veer toward the deadly (or at the least unhealthy) superficial drive for physical perfection, and wild inequalities of income.
But my escalating struggle with the culture of the celebrity is not the main point here. I would also like to point out that I adore Jodi Picoult’s work (I would, and have, followed her to any subject matter – a very rare occurrence).
With the above musings in mind, I have decided that I’m going to undertake a New Author Challenge, to actively add unknown/new/alternative authors to my to-read list.
I have heard of two recently, without digging too far:
A fellow Kiwi, whose book my boss is so sure I will like! that he (yes, the boss, not the author) has offered me a money back guarantee to try. I would never offer a guarantee on a suggestion, but that is pretty high praise!
Jam Sandwiches, by Greg Fowler find here
I haven’t read it yet, but one of the people in my book club has written a book! As he is only in his early 20s, it’s amazing – I have many unfinished, unedited manuscripts just sitting, collecting electronic dust on my computer.
Brouhaha! by Johnny Shortall find here
Can anyone recommend any others for my New Author Challenge?