This post, from RJ Keller, originally appeared on her Ingenious Title To Appear Here Later blog on 11/21/09.
Friday night, I was told by an author I’d never heard of that her ultimate goals when she began writing were to see her book in a bookstore and to sell a lot of books. She further informed me that because her book had found an agent and a publisher and was now sitting in a bookstore that it was a “real” book. My book, not falling into that category, is – naturally – not “real.”
[Editor’s note: strong language after the jump]
I wanted to tell her that my ultimate goal when I began writing was to write a good book. An awesome book. A book that, when people read it, they’d say, “I have felt exactly this way before! I thought I was the only one!” Or, “I stayed up all night reading this, even though I had to go to work early in the morning.” I might have even wanted it to make people cry, to make them think about things in a way they’d never done before, or to look at people in a way they’d never done before.
I wanted to point her in the direction of postive reviews I’ve received, and send her copies of emails I’ve gotten from readers, stating that my book had accomplished exactly those things. I wanted to send her the link to this post, affirming that my book is, indeed, a real book. Then I Googled her name and learned about her book. That’s when I wanted to tell her that the only reason an agent had picked it up and had been able to sell it to a publisher is because it’s a cookie cutter of about 1000 other books already out there, which means it’s not considered a risk. I also wanted to tell her to stuff it (okay, I wanted to tell her to fuck off).