Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Millionaire Troll Author

By now you have heard of the girl in Minnesota who couldn't get published or considered by agents and so she shot her troll based novels out on Kindle and made a cool million dollars then got a big contract with a publisher and made even more and now her books are being made into movies and life is good for the twenty something (barely) who took a chance on herself and hit the lottery of new technology and sidestepped publishing and essentially hit the lottery of mass entertainment. So what does all that mean to authors and publishers?

Well nothing new under the sun. We have heard of these stories of the unrecognized author who is dug out of the slush pile or self publishes and the world is introduced to a book that would have suffered the fate of most rejected manuscripts: the moldy box in the basement. But what backs this story into something new is the ease in which this author broke the back of main stream publishing. She simply uploaded her books and people started to read them and  more people started to read them and then more people started to read them. The digital bestseller is a bit like an atom bomb. Fission is possible.

But of course for most of us this does not occurs. The atoms do not bang up against each other in the proper sequence and the uploaded book takes it lonely place in cyberspace, unreviewed, unread, a little catalog of bits and bytes. But here it worked fabulously. Expect troll books up the ying yang. YA will be seen as even more of a gold mine than it already is. Expect more ebook success stories. Expect publishers not to change. Expect authors to remain frustrated.

Publishers cannot recognize the gold in front of them because they don't know what it is anymore. Especially now. Large conglomerates push down hard on editors and the bottom line long ago pushed over literary merit. The divining rod has clearly bent to commerce if it ever bent away in the first place. Weird things happen. People get struck by lighting, win the lottery, publish books about trolls that make millions of dollars. Does this matter to the writer? Yeah and no. It is good to know it is possible, but you view it the same way you hear about someone who gets the catastrophic disease or writes a hit song. How does that happen? What must it be like to be that person.

Ultimately though, you pick up the pen and start again. Hmm...lets see.  Ok. I got it. A boy wizard who turns into a troll! What?  It might work....I was seriously thinking of a troll book even before Mrs. Minnesota. No, really. You don't think I would follow a trend for money. Please.
Hemingways Attic...surviving as a writer
Rocket Man...keeping your house shouldnt be this hard

Books by William Hazelgrove