The arrogance of elite readers
I didn’t know it’s been twenty years since the Harry Potter books came out. We didn’t even have ebooks then, and that’s hard to believe now.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
I didn’t read the first book when it took off, primarily because the reviews–rightly so–said that the girl characters didn’t get much attention. I grew wanting to see girls have adventures in books and mainly seeing them stand by while the boys had all the action.
But once the series started really getting attention, I went back and got the first three books. Went each book in one day. They were so good, they triggered a reset. After I hit that last page, I had to go back and read it again because I wasn’t willing to let it go.
I haven’t had too many books like that.
Unfortunately, the above assessment about Herimone was true. She was smart, intelligent, and Harry got most of the adventures. But I later read that J.K. Rowlings wanted to make Herimone the main character … and it wouldn’t have sold to the publisher.
That’s why I’m indie publishing.
The Price of Commercial Success
Invariably though, the naysayers wandered out and sneered with contempt at the books. Somehow, the elite readers think that even if the writer is a good storyteller, if the books aren’t to a standard they set, they’re no good.
Where does this stuff come from?
We have movies competing with books. We have iPhones competing with books. We have internet games competing with books.
So naturally we’re going to shoot down a successful book that got people in to read more books instead of doing something else?
Is commercial success really that bad? It’s missing the entire point. The books got people to read, and we need more like that.
Especially with girl characters.