(2) Why Do Bad Books Sell?

41yeCMtapCL“He who writes for fools always finds a large public.” – Schopenhaur.

It does seem unfair, doesn’t it? Writers struggle to get their masterpieces published, or even just read by a publisher, while others write drivel and achieve the bestseller lists. I bet even Emily Bronte would be turned down by agents and publishers if she was writing today as an unknown writer.

So why do bad books sell?

But, wait a minute. Who can say what is a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ book? It’s subjective, isn’t it? Your baby is ugly. My baby is a perfect, beautiful darling. Years ago I thought that any fool could write one of those weepy popular romance stories. I soon came to realise that this fool couldn’t.

Writing is hard, getting published harder, and selling loads of books hardest of all. Was Schopenhaur wrong to insult a large public and the writers who managed to reach them? Or could he be a little bit right? The jury’s out on this one.

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2 thoughts on “(2) Why Do Bad Books Sell?

  1. In an attack on Schopenhaur, he was a curmudgeon that was delighted when an annoying neighbor fell down several flights of stairs (he later paid damages for allegedly doing nothing…), and that quote is about him as a lecturer. I wonder why no one went to lecture with him.

    As for writing romance novels, I’m researching how to do it to put a spin on it. It’s hard and then easy. I’ve locked down my characters, but I need backstory and that’s something romance novels are interestingly good at while also being terrible at it being believable. They also use the trifecta rule as I call it. Three adjectives for a noun. So everything appears to have depth and conflict, and interest when all they do is string words that make no sense together in front of a noun. Blerg! But now that I have a few under my belt, it’s pretty easy to reproduce.

    They are churning out crap in the end. It’s hard, but then it’s easy. And at the end of the day, whether a book is good or bad might be up for grabs, I can say it’s shallow, poorly written, has bad characterization, weak plot, contrived endings, forced plot twists, inconsistent voice, bad grammar (I’ve encountered this!), thesaurus fatigue, word fatigue, murmur problems, and a bunch of others that are less subjective.

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