Books and Brands

I’ve just read an interesting article in the Guardian about books and publishing. Basically, it is saying that big name writers are getting bigger leaving little space in the market for ‘mid-list’ writers.

If it’s tough on those mid-listers, where does it leave us new writers? Probably up a certain creek without a paddle.

It seems it’s all about branding. Big writers are now ‘brands’ meaning it’s very difficult to generate public interest in anything that isn’t that brand (or like it). It’s very hard for new writers to be discovered.

I get that. I’m a new writer, writing realistic teen fiction and drawing on my many years as a children’s rights lawyer. But in a market teeming with brands built around vampires and magic, it’s hard to see if there is any way to manoeuvre anywhere.

I guess it’s about finding a way of escaping that certain creek to more vibrant waters. It maybe takes one book and one publisher to stick his or her neck out to move the public interest on a notch. Harry Potter did it. Twilight did it. Fifty Shades did it. But with current brands being so big and the publishing industry being so threatened in so many ways, it is perhaps easy to see why it’s safe to invest in existing brands. And without much else coming on to the market, they then just keep getting bigger.


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