author C.C.Cole's blog

Sunday, May 27, 2012

On the Destiny of Literary Labels


Many times I’ve encountered on blogs and social networking criticisms of many types of literature, including self-published, YA paranormal romance, infamous wizardry, and youngsters in arena battles.  The terms used to describe the bestsellers and non-bestsellers are similar; “crap,” “boring,” “over-hyped,” “don’t waste your time,” and other non-flattering descriptions. 

However, when the above terminology comes from writers, what does that mean?  It could mean the writer read these struggling Indie writers, or any of the YA mega-hits and didn’t see the magic in Harry Potter.  That’s understandable.  Other writers don’t like reading self-published writing, just as some readers don’t, and writers are readers, right?  (Let’s hope so).  But if a writer calls another writer’s work “crap” and has not read it, what is that called?

We Indies understand the self-published karma, so let’s move on to the hits that have risen far above the criticism of any single person, writer or not.  The millions-selling YA series, so popular, made into blockbuster films, and after all that hype, they’re “crap?”  Sure, authors have a right to an opinion like anyone else.  Maybe they saw a film or two and didn’t pick up the frenzy with the rest of the planet.  That’s OK, but someone liked these books.  Millions of “someones.”

None of us can gaze through a crystal ball and see which popular books will become classics in the next half century.  Also, when a book is defined as a classic, is it always a bestseller?  No.  Who decides which books become bestsellers and/or blockbuster films?  Answer:  The audience.  Translation for writers:  The Readers.

As writers, we create literature to be read, hopefully enjoyed by readers.  And some readers may not like our work; I suspect most writers have run into that, certainly bestsellers when I see reviews on amazon.  But an ability a writer does not have is to decide which books will “make it.”  Yes, marketing is very important, but only readers can determine what the short and long term legacy of any story will be.  While new authors can question the taste and decision-making of today’s readers, that’s fine, but that’s not who dictates what the readers do.  Critical authors do not bring a favorable response by insulting readers.

Writers write.  Readers read.  The end product of a writer is the story.  The end product of the reader is the remembrance of the story, thus defining its destiny.


  1. Good blog. I try to find value in every book I read...even ìf it`s not my favorite genre. I think everyone has a favorite genre. However it is fun to explore books by many writers.

  2. Hi, thanks for the comment! I agree.

  3. I read all genres - not just because I'm an editor, but because I want to, I enjoy reading. My basic complaint on ANY story - it's not a good story. It's not well written, it's not well edited or proofread, the plot has faults, the characters are flat. No matter the genre - romance, fantasy, horror, memoir - it has to engage me. It has to keep me interested throughout. I don't care if a book is published via the Big Guys or self-published. If it's not a good story, I will delete it or put it aside. I never do reviews, and I never post "horrible" or "bad." But I do post "must reads" to my FB.

  4. I usually only post favorable reviews because my blog is about promoting authors and books I would recomment to others. If I have heard a lot about a book and found it wanting, then I might post about it to warn others of what I thought didn't work. Wanted to let you know I mentioned you on my blog today.

  5. Thank you so much! Wordpress hates me, but I'll try and get back in and comment. But to be nominated, I'm very grateful and never take anything for granted. Much appreciated!