Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Which Books Need To Be Written?

One would think with millions of books in print that every imaginable topic has been covered in some fashion, but the truth is many things, places, and people have not been presented to the world. And as far as ideas or fantasies, well, those are only limited to the imaginations of the seven billion people on this planet. We’re not even close to writing about 1% of 1% of 1% of all the possible stories that can be told.

And yet it seems like so many books cover the same topics over and over – wealth, sex, diet, travel, entertainment, recovery, sports, cooking. What about books that cover what has not yet received a voice? Where are the books that share parts of the human condition that have been ignored? Where are the books that create new visions of a world that could be? Where are the books that uncover secrets and expose things that would shake us? Where are alien autobiographies? Where are the books that tell us of the future or fill in gaps of the past?

Many stories can’t or won’t be told, such as ones that admit to crimes, government cover-ups, scandals, military operations, scientific discoveries, or family secrets. In these cases, witnesses are scarce and others live in fear of discovery or have been incentivized to remain silent. Other stories can’t be told because time has destroyed all evidence. Do we really know much about life in the year 14,000 BC?  If we lack witnesses, scientific data, and documented records, how do we know about most of the world’s history?

Some stories would be extremely difficult to uncover, such as ones from illiterates, the insane, severely handicapped (such as someone who is blind and mute), or those left to die in hidden prisons. And other stories aren’t told due to extreme embarrassment and guilt. There are many reasons stories are not written or published, including legal agreements or lawsuit threats.

Innovative books not only will add to society’s growth, they’ll also add to the bottom lines of authors and publishers who have the smarts, the courage, and the time to experiment and explore what has not yet been revealed and discussed. The next big thing in books could be out there.

Will you be the one to create it?

Interview With Book Review Editor Pat Richardson

1.      What do you do as the managing reviews editor for Fresh Fiction? As Managing Reviews Editor my primary role is to keep everyone organized so that reviews are posted in a timely manner. I coordinate reviews for approximately 400 books a month completed by dozens of reviewers. The process begins with networking with publishers, publicists, and authors to make available the books our reviewers want to read. Once books are submitted to Fresh Fiction, I assign books to reviewers and follow-up to ensure reviews are completed. Keeping everyone happy simply requires caring attention, a kind word, and a smile.

2.      What do you love about working with books? Nothing motives a reader more than that next book. I have access to hundreds of books a week and discover new authors I might not have read otherwise. I have regular opportunities to meet authors and learn about their books and writing process. Their discipline amazes me. Working with books makes me part of a community of readers that I can instantly connect to. Knowing someone is as rabid about a book as I am makes for an instant friendship.  

3.      What changes have you seen in the last few years in regards to fiction? E readers have made fiction much more available. You can instantly access literally thousands of books online or on your eReader. They also create a new type of privacy that allows you to read any book anywhere.  Books you used to have to read in your bedroom can now be taken everywhere.

4.      How challenging is it for you to find the right books to review, given how many books are published every day? Any recent or soon to be published book can be submitted to Fresh Fiction for review. We make the titles of these books available to the reviewers for selection. Not every book is chosen during the review assignment process. We also will request review copies for books we know will be popular with our reviewers and readers. Ultimately, it is the reviewers who guide the book selection process.

5.      What are readers looking for when they read your reviews? We believe readers are looking for an honest perspective on a book to help determine if they should or should not read it. Given the number of books available readers have to be choosy so part of our job is to help them make an informed decision. We try to ensure fair and balanced reviews by requesting that reviewers only select books in their preferred genres and avoid snarky or harsh criticism.

6.      With bookstores disappearing and many ebooks floating around, are reviews
increasingly rising in their role of importance to a book's discoverability and success? I agree that reviews have become increasingly important in helping readers select a book from what seems like an endless supply of reading material, particularly given the rising cost of print and eBooks. It is because we recognize the power of the review that we strive to be both honest and fair in our reviews. We hope to balance the opinion of the reviewer with our understanding of how hard an author worked to get to the point of being published.

7.      Where do you see book publishing is heading in a few years? I think eBooks will continue to revolutionize the publishing industry. I see authors taking increasing ownership of their work by self-publishing. I have noticed that self-published books sometimes suffer from the lack of an editor. Regular experience with poorly edited books may discourage readers from taking a risk on a new author. I applaud authors’ efforts to publish their own work but with that comes a responsibility to the reader.
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.