Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

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Location: Valley Village, California, United States

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Best Books List That Imparts a Lesson

"As promised, Pajiba presents The Generation’s Best Books as defined by our readers."

I didn't copy the list, so go take a look at it. Also note this:

If you’re curious, the selections that just missed the top 15 cutoff were The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingslover); Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Mark Haddon); Wicked (Gregory Maguire); Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (Susanna Clarke); and The Blind Assassin (Margaret Atwood)

Unlike most “greatest” and “best” lists, which are empty marketing ploys, Pajiba’s is very revealing, though not for the reason’s Pajiba or its readers think.

I haven’t read any of these books, yet, except for Geek Love and Wicked, I’ve read a great deal about them. They were all heavily promoted and reviewed when they were first published. They were all published by major league publishers. None were published by a small press, let alone self-published.

As prominent agent Simon Lipskar recently wrote:

It’s depressing to admit this, but if anything, I think it should be freeing for authors to realize that the burden of turning their books into bestsellers remains where it has always been: on the publishers.

That’s not to imply that authors shouldn’t do all the things that they can to promote themselves, but the ugly truth is without massive effort and expense, there’s not much they can do to break out of the pack that’s independent of their publishers’ efforts.

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