When We Said No More, We Were Lying

September 3rd, 2004 · 2 Comments
by Booksquare

There are days we could waste by making fun of news. Headlines, articles, even photos — there is so much fodder for our sharp fingers, we simply can’t address it all. But we try, we try. For example, this headline hinting that the next J.K. Rowling has been discovered caught our imagination mid-caffeine infusion. While we don’t deal with facts too often (see previous re: lazy), we feel compelled to make a point.

The Harry Potter books were not a success because publishers salivated over the rights during an auction. The success came (and we feel this is a key point, so put down your coffee) because the stories appealed to readers. While a book can be packaged as a bestseller, while the author can be compensated like a bestseller, and while the media can be convinced something is a bestseller, the proof lies in the consumer. We don’t want to set criteria, but, if we were to determine the next Rowling, we would probably use a rule of thumb somewhere along the lines of: first book captures the world’s imagination and subsequent books do little to dim the public’s appetite for more.

Note, we mention nothing about advances or international rights sold in advance of publication.

Perhaps the book in question will achieve unparalleled success. Perhaps it will flop. That’s for the future. Right now, we plead for more intelligence and logic in the news. Thank you.

File Under: Books/Mags/Blogs

2 responses so far ↓

  • Kevin Holtsberry // Sep 3, 2004 at 1:35 pm

    Intelligence and logic in the news? To dream the impossible dream . . .

  • booksquare // Sep 4, 2004 at 10:31 am

    I live in a fantasy world, what can I say? Just this morning I saw a headline where an actor hopes for a long career. It took all my strength to resist the urge to write a letter to the editor, but I managed. Barely…as evidence by the fact that I’m talking about it rather than hitting the bookstore.