Friday, November 10, 2006

The Starving Authors Show

A friend of mine and a fellow author has decided that we need a starving authors show. Much like artists have with their work, he is trying to drum up enough support to produce a television show which will showcase little or virtually unknown authors and their work.
Trust me, there are thousands of writers out there who receive little or no recognition. Some for obvious reasons; little or no talent. But, there are others out there who are very talented and are able to paint exquisite pictures with their words. These are the authors who need help getting their work out and into the hands of the reading public.
Hence, Mike's idea for the show. But, like all ventures, he needs capital. Investors who not only love to support the arts, but folks who actually pick up a book every now and again and read it.
Its not easy, but if we can get the word out, then maybe, just maybe it will catch the attention of someone who knows someone. It can happen.
So far, I believe he has contacted Miss Oprah. Now, there is a lady who has the wherewithal to help these starving authors, and all it would take is a wee bit of her time. Oprah reads; a lot. Her book club selections have skyrocketed to the top of the NY Times Bestsellers list simply by virtue of her name being associated with them.
Of course, here lately, she has chosen to support the classics. Not a bad thing, really its not, but come on Oprah, these folks are long in their graves and their works are so well known, why do you feel that they need a boost from you?
Why can't you put your support behind the thousands of unknown authors out there whose work is every bit as deserving of your attention as Steinbeck or Buck?
The publishing industry has lost so much of its respect over the last decade. The major houses are choosing to lavish ridiculous advances on celebrities and well established authors. A lot of the times, the publisher barely breaks even. Why is that? Perhaps it is because they foolishly think the reading public no longer cares about anything but the deep, or more often than not, shallow secrets of the rich and famous.
I know several authors, excellent writers who have been at this business for decades, and simply can not get a break. Why? They have wonderful books. Fabulous stories to tell, and not a single agent or publisher is willing to take a chance on them because they are unknown. So, these talented people find alternate ways to get their work out. Some self publish, some have discovered the miracle of independent presses, and a growing number have found e-books.
Now, I'm not saying that all these books are good. Hell, most of them are just awful, but there are some that are excellent.
Some authors who went with independent presses or self published, like Natalie R. Collins and James Conroyd Martin , who wrote such excellent books, but were turned down time and again by the major houses, both of publishers and agents. These two had such wonderfull books that St. Martin's Press picked them up, BUT only after they had busted their butts promoting and selling their books. Sometimes even out of the trunks of their cars.
So, they had to prove to the big guns that they could write before the publishers would even acknowlege them.
And that is just stupid. Today there are a great many writers out there who create memorable characters, unbelievable plots, in fantastic worlds, but because their names are not, Ludlum, Grisham, or some celebrity, they go un-noticed and unread, and that's a shame.
Its a shame that someone with Oprah's influence and resources can't realize that just by a nod of her head, she could be introducing the world to some of the best writing to come along in decades.
A person who gives aways millions every year can certainly afford to buy a fifteen dollar book from an unknown author and give it a read, and if she likes it, a nod. And all that would cost her is a good word.
A good word from someone like Miss Oprah and a deserving author would get the recognition he or she so richly deserves. What do you say, Oprah?


Blogger unwriter said...

I like this. I agree, there are too many non recognized authors out there. Check thewritersgroup, now there is a large selection of excellent writers. All of those writers need to be read!!

10:31 AM  
Blogger Theresa Chaze, Wiccan Writer said...

I second. Many good novels are over looked because they can't get into bookstores. The authors do their best to promote their work, yet there are so few mediums that are willing to help.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Schuyler Thorpe said...

I agree with this too, Linda. And **maybe**...that's what we need to do!

Instead of just wasting money on trying to attract big publishers and agents, why don't we take that alternate route and secure our books that way? Bring them up to a professional standard and start wailing away!

I'm all for the starving artists show myself. I'm one of them. But I have a wealth of ideas I'm always sharing with people; try to give them a kick in the ass when needed. (lol)

3:50 PM  
Blogger NightRainbow said...

Excellent point, Linda. I think this is a wonderful idea--and I'll be supporting it as much as I can. I'll post about this on my blog and see if we can get the word out.

5:42 PM  

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