May 6th, 2005


food for thought

"I would say the biggest problem is underestimating the reading audience. I've always written cross-genre books: a suspense novel with a love story inside and some comedy. But publishers resisted this strenuously. Everything has to be labeled, and sold that way. If you're writing a series, there is pressure to keep things narrow and not break out. Books like Herman Wouk's "The Winds of War" and James Clavell's "Shogun" have largely disappeared from the bestseller list. The common wisdom is that readers don't have the patience they once did. But underestimating the reading public is a very big mistake. If there was more trust in the public, it would pay off. An editor once told me that if I didn't keep my vocabulary to 500 words I'd never make the best-seller list." - Dean Koontz in an interview in the Wall Street Journal
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