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Footnotes 2017-2018 > Sunday Conversation Topic 3/25

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message 1: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2063 comments How do you feel about local authors. How do you feel about self published authors. Was it Stephen King in "On Writing" that was not favorable to self publishing? Might have been another book. Maybe John Grisham's "Camino Island". Anyway, do you read local authors or self published authors. I don't mean if James Patterson is a local author. Do you feel self publishing has hurt, helped, or has no effect on the industry?


message 2: by Karin (new)

Karin | 7202 comments The Martian was self published originally, and the following authors are a few who started off by self-publishing

Edgar Rice Burroughs
Zane Grey
Rudyard Kipling
DH Lawrence
Gertrude Stein
Virginia Woolf

Self publishing is not new, and most of the books are not great (I think of one my grandfather self-published and it was very well researched, had excellent grammar and punctuation, but it was awful to read), but I think the rise of online self-publishing means more badly written and questionably edited self-published books hit the ebooks.

Yes, sometimes I do read local authors, but they are not necessarily all self published. I think it's important to support this and not just the big publishers.


message 3: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2063 comments Just to be clear, I do not mean all local authors are self published. More of a two part question.

The Martian was self published? Wow!


message 4: by Elise (new)

Elise (ellinou) | 525 comments It's probably different depending on where you're from also. Like in the US, I think as an author to get published you need to first find and agent, who will then find a publisher. But here there is no agent, authors send their manuscripts directly to publishers. So I feel it might be "easier" to get published? So if you resort to self-publishing, it means your manuscript has been rejected directly by all the publishers you tried, so what does that tell ya? XD

So yeah no, in general I don't read things that are self-published. I rarely read fiction published on the Internet either (fictionpress.net, for example), online reading is for fanfic.


message 5: by Karin (new)

Karin | 7202 comments Ellie wrote: "It's probably different depending on where you're from also. Like in the US, I think as an author to get published you need to first find and agent, who will then find a publisher. But here there i..."

Not necessarily; an agent with good connections and a strong track record has a higher chance of getting a manuscript read than those in the slush pile (unsolicited mss sent directly to the publisher).


message 6: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8858 comments Of course I read my local authors! Alice Hoffman, Jodi Piccoult, Anita Diamant, Elinor Lipman. Tova Mirvis writes her novels at my local Starbucks. These are just to name a few. There was an event last year with six women authors and they were all from around here, Alice, Jodi, Anita - they were three of the six!

Here's a lesser known local author. Laura Anderson wrote the Boleyn King, Deceit, and Reckoning, followed by the next three in the series (Tudor Legacy). She lives in the next town over, and read from her book at our local township library. I adored those six books. But to date, she is the only author I have ever reached out to with praise that has never given me the time of day to respond. Local authors fill up whole tables and shelves at bookstores. And yes I read them, even when they are not the luminaries. There are so many luminaries in the Boston area.

Self published? That is a different category all together. Maybe one in a haystack is fantastic. My friend self-published her book of poetry and she is the only poet I will listen to. But she was an awful Facebook teacher. But gal, can she write!


Tessa (FutureAuthor23) | 229 comments Karin wrote: "I think it's important to support this and not just the big publishers..."

I wholeheartedly agree with this statement.


Tessa (FutureAuthor23) | 229 comments I honestly don't really pay attention whether someone is a local author or not. I've read Jane Smiley and Vicki Myron (who wrote Dewey) but I didn't know they were authors from my state prior to picking up one of their books to read.


message 9: by Booknblues (last edited Mar 25, 2018 09:43PM) (new)

Booknblues | 6204 comments I love reading about locales I am familiar with, so I absolutely support local writers. In my current locale we have had a few. The most well known is John Lescroart but also we have had Karen Joy Fowler ( she has moved away from the area.)

Another area of this are those authors we have met online and a long time friend of mine, who I met online when she was a college student and is a recently published author of excellent fantasy novels is Ilana C. Myer. I was absolutely thrilled when she became a published author.

Mark Twain had a residence in my home town, which is wife was from and his study is located on my alma mater. He is one of my favorite authors.


message 10: by JoLene (last edited Mar 26, 2018 06:46AM) (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1532 comments Since I do challenges, I subscribe to kindle-unlimited. I think that many of those books are self-published. The quality runs the gambit — some I’ve really enjoyed, but some were truly awful (one author changed the name of the MC daughter from Cherokee to Cheyenne and back again in a less than 300 page book.)

In addition to The Martian, Wool by Hugh Howey and Theft of Swords (the Riyria Chronicles) by Michael J. Sullivan are works that were originally self-published, but got lots of buzz and found publishers. Also, I know of several authors that started series but got dropped by the publisher, so they continued them by self publishing.

I don’t actually pay attention to if people are local authors. I live in SF Bay are, so we are often stops on book tours and there are tons of author events. I’ve been to a couple, but I have a friend who goes to them all the time. I would love to go to more, but I don’t really like driving at night unless I’m familiar with where I’m going.


message 11: by KateNZ (new)

KateNZ | 2504 comments I like reading books that are set in places that I know, whether or not they're by a local author. They have a home comfort to them - the ordinariness that comes with the familiar - and it's fun to see how a story (which is often about something extraordinary) plays out in that context.

Like The Pale North - a very cool story-of-two halves by Wellington author Hamish Clayton which is largely set in Wellington (the first half is particularly lovely). The fact the author is in the same cricket team as my son (as are two other award-winning authors) has nothing to do with the desire to cheerlead, of course :D

In places where there's not a huge local book industry (like NZ), it's also important to support local authors, so I do try. But I must admit they have to write about something that I'm interested in first! Like The Luminaries - such a fabulous book.

Self-publishing: usually my editorial sensibilities end up being overstressed, and I get grumpy. But there are a few books that make the grade so I won't rule out reading self-published works. You can usually tell in a couple of pages whether they're going to be beyond redemption. (A few published works fall into that category as well - you wonder how the heck they ever made it through selection!)

I hadn't realised the Riyria Chronicles were self-published originally - man, I love those books!


message 12: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2063 comments So i always am interested in local authors, self published or not, but I find when I look at the books, I'm not interested. It normally has to do with the format of the book. They don't look legit.

Booknblues, I'm with you about reading books that feature places I'm familiar with. I have Granddaddy's Dirt on my TBR because its placed in the town I grew up in as well as being a local author. Not sure if its self published.

In regards to self published, I was surprised when I read (almost sure it was in On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, when he kinda bashed self publishing. I was amazed about the history of Wool and not only was it self published, but it revolutionized self publishing. I am also amazed to learn The Martian was self published.

I see there is a divide in the perception of self publishing. I have read some self published books, and though they were not the best writing, I greatly enjoyed the story on a few, but normally I already had something invested. I do recommend Something to Laugh About. I added this to Goodread actually.

I am torn on self publishing I see the argument that it hurts the publishing industry and also creates more competition with a less quality. I also understand that the publishing company is not "fair" for aspiring writers. Maybe that could be a good challenge. Self-published.


message 13: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7782 comments I agree with many people that I like to read about places I am familiar with, and that often translates to local authors. Though, I do not seek them out.

I almost never read anything self-published. I would if it came very highly recommended, or was picked up by a publisher, but I do not peruse self-published works for my next read.

I read The Martian, but not until after it was picked up by a big publisher. I think the main reason is that it is just so hit-or-miss! I have limited reading time and I don't want to spend it reading something that needs three more rounds of edits or lacks polish. I get really distracted by those things, and it takes away from my reading experience.


message 14: by Karin (last edited Mar 29, 2018 11:42AM) (new)

Karin | 7202 comments Nicole R wrote: "I almost never read anything self-published. I would if it came very highly recommended, or was picked up by a publisher, but I do not peruse self-published works for my next read..."

I read The Martian because Susan gave it a rave review on Shelfari, but I don't know if it was still self-published or if it had been picked up by a big publisher then.


message 15: by SANDYE (new)

SANDYE (sandye_c) Jason wrote: "How do you feel about local authors. How do you feel about self published authors. Was it Stephen King in "On Writing" that was not favorable to self publishing? Might have been another book. Maybe..."

For me personally, it doesn't matter where the author is located, or whether or not they are self-published. I go by the storyline. If the story sounds interesting, I read the book no matter what other factors may figure into it. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. I find that's true with self-published authors as well popular top-selling authors. I do like to read stories occasionally that take place in locations I'm familiar with, because I like to stop and think to myself 'hey I've been there'. However, reading about places I may never get to see in person is also great because at least I can get a sense of what it's like there too.


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