Walk into any bookstore lately and as you stroll down the sci-fi, children's....or cookbook aisle...notice if you can spy a trend. Rows upon rows of "same author" books. It seems you don't just come out with ONE book any more - it's a whole series....Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time Series, The Sword of Truth Series by Terry Goodkind, The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, and a whole bunch of Rachel Ray cookbooks, enough to please Oprah Winfrey and her insatiable appetite...for books in her book club. Can't you just see the proverbial overweight book publisher, cigar in one hand and calculator in the other, not skipping a beat when he barely gives you a glance upward and in a gritty voice, punctuated by the rhythmic "totalling" of the machine, grunts out, "Mutant Dinosaurs From the Planet Saura?...sounds terrific. Get the whole trilogy back to me by...say...NEXT Wednesday. We won't need the pre-quel until next month." The clickety-clack of the machine now barely audible thru the echoing of your footsteps as you walk out of his office and down the long hallway back to the elevator all the while thinking of just how you plan to churn out the next "Harry Potterific" series and bump one of those "Chicken Soup for the...whatever's" right smack off that Bestseller's List.
This really makes me wonder...number one: How do people like Stephen King and JK Rowling rattle off 800-page tomes but yet that "Shakespeare couldn't have written all that stuff...he MUST have had someone helping him" controversy goes on and on and comes to the forefront every so many years. And number two: Are they sitting around one day saying to themselves "yeah, I think I have a really interesting concept here...one that I can parlay into five...maybe even seven books...IF I buy a new thesaurus". Then, how do they get the backing for this...or is it done the other way around. "Yes, this book sold about a zillion copies...do you think you can maybe type up another one just like it, but different? Then another and another?"
Now, I don't know about you - but I've been trying, on and off, for years...to come up with enough material to fill one book - now just scrap that idea - I need to pen something that rivals the Encyclopedia Britannica...AND it has to sell like hotcakes...but not any hotcakes, hotcakes cooked by Rachel Ray. Given the fact that I'm in my 40's now - technically I should have started in 1972 - because no way am I going to make that deadline by next week.
A Bit About Me
- Mariann Simms
- Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".