It used to be that publishers would decide what gets published and what doesn’t and only a certain amount of books were published a year. There was a kind if an artificial limit practiced by the big publishers, circumstances dictated the phenomena. In reality, there was and always had been a plethora of books and writers that were eager to reach readers. I won’t go into how the publishers choose what they choose to publish but one thing is obvious, not all the rejected books were awful and not all the authors that got published succeeded. The publishers were mainly concerned with not only publishing something good in terms of quality but also something that would make money, in other words, something they think readers will like. Publishers made decisions on behalf of you, the reader. This isn’t a terrible thing, it is somewhat still the case with cinema and music. But not all readers are the same and not all of us like the same things, so – in a way – not all of the readers and different tastes were satisfied. Publishers don’t like taking big risks so a lot of creative, weird and niche content wasn’t ever published. Today all that has changed, thanks to technology and the internet there are tons of authors and books popping out of nowhere. There are tons to choose from and a lot of it is free, and despite the misconceptions that free means bad quality, there is actually some good stuff. Unfortunately with the gatekeepers virtually non-extent a lot of shit is also coming out. You have to wonder, is this the best or worst time to be a reader?
Because it seems a lot of shit might be flown into their faces and occasionally some roses? This translates to readers spending a huge amount of their time reading shit instead of some good stuff. And readers value their time. On the other hand, there is tons of good stuff, more than there ever was before due to the explosion of self-publishing, which means more choices to choose from. Not just artificially crafted choices, they are organic and pervade into every niche market you could think off; so there is real choice, real consumer freedom.
I have thought about it and downloaded a dozen free books to read and skim, then went to online platforms like Wattpad (where I currently have my novel up) and I have a verdict. It is the best time to be a reader, sure you might be exposed to a lot of bad books before the good ones but there is a good and average books out there. However, more than before and retailers (also review sites and websites like Goodreads) want to make sure you discover good books by grouping books according to how popular and highly rated they are which means readers can avoid all that shit and go straight to the good stuff, and there is a lot more of it than before. It is the best time to be a reader because you can spend your whole lifetime not buying a book and read some of the most beautiful, entertaining and gripping works out there. This wasn’t a simple option about half a century ago because you had to go to the library, and it only housed a finite number of books and you could only borrow and never own. Now you can own and you huge access to many books than your local library could ever offer. This is definitely the best time to be a reader because today you, the reader, are more in charge than you realize. So much power has been given to you, when it shifted from the big publishers it had to go somewhere.
Now you decide who sinks or swims, you have the last say. Not the promoters or advertisers.
Thanks for reading
Now I will leave you with a song lyric that may or may not have anything to do with this post:
“There’s no peace
Victory decides who’s wrong or right
It will not cease
You better be prepared to fight!” – Linkin Park ‘War’