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I’m not going to link to it, because I don’t want to give it extra free traffic, but if you’re so inclined, it’s pretty easy to find on Twitter, as it involves telling J.K. Rowling to stop writing adult books because she’s hogging up all the success—but it’s ok for her to write kid lit because those books aren’t as good anyway. Yep.
As much as I'd like to rage about why kidlit is just as important as adult literature, I know I'm preaching to the choir here, so I'm going to focus on something equally important (and a little less screamy).
The thing that some people, particularly people outside of the publishing industry tend to forget, is that there’s room for everyone to be successful. In fact, one author’s mega-success is actually good for everyone else.
Think about it.
Let’s take J.K. Rowling, for example. The Harry Potter series was one of the first major crossover kid lit titles that blew the door wide open for other kid lit successes. Why? Well let’s take a look.
Harry Potter, as we all know, sold incredibly well. Incredibly x a million. Hugely successful books means more money for publishers—who then have more cash to buy more books from writers and give more debuts a chance, more money for bookstores—who then run less of a risk of crashing and burning like Borders, and more money for the authors—who, quite frankly, deserve their success. But it’s not just the money—hugely successful books are the direct result of more people reading.
Why is more people reading a good thing, you ask? I can’t even tell you how many people I’ve heard say “I didn’t like reading but I loved [insert popular book title here].” Successful books show people who didn’t think they liked to read that reading can actually be great. Successful books get more people buying books, and guess what? Many times when they finish reading said successful book, they look for another book. Because maybe reading isn’t so bad after all and they’ll like the next book just as much as that successful book they just read.
Time and time again, successful books have proven that they help so much more than the author.
The Twilight series brought the spotlight down on YA lit.
The Hunger Games series opened the door to a variety of fantastic dystopian novels, like say, a little series called Divergent.
The 50 Shades of Grey series gave a huge boost to erotica sales.
All of these books created new readers—people who didn’t really read much before because they thought they wouldn’t like it and changed their minds after reading that successful book. And that’s good for everyone, because more readers = more book sales, and more book sales = good news for writers.
See, this one huge aspect of the publishing world that I love—we can genuinely be happy for each other’s successes, even (and especially) crazy-massive successes, because it’s good news for everyone. Books are not a market like cars or laptops or iPads where the customer will only buy one for several years. The success of one book opens the door for the successes of many others, and to me, that’s one of the many things that makes this community so incredibly wonderful.
So let’s cut the jealousy and the bitterness and just be happy and supportive for one another, okay? There’s no need for negativity in this incredible community that I will always love.
What do you think?
Writer @Ava_Jae breaks down why mega-successes like J.K. Rowling & E.L. James are good for the publishing community. (Click to tweet)
.@Ava_Jae says “…there’s room for everyone to be successful [in the publishing industry].” What do you think? (Click to tweet)