Poking around reddit’s book sub, I discovered this article. It’s about the importance of reading writers who aren’t best sellers or writers you’ve never heard of.
This is kind of the point of me reading an indie title. Smaller publishing houses, lesser known names, underrepresented genres, all of them fall into this category. How often does horror make the NYT list (omitting Stephen King)? How many books with ‘feminist’ in the title or subtitle get blurbs in People magazine?
Some books become bestsellers because of name recognition like Lena Dunham and Shonda Rimes. Others are based on the popularity of previous works, like anything by Dan Brown or Stephen King. Some are because they were interesting enough to be made into a movie causing a big boost in sales. Others rely on controversy or scandal like FSOG. I think the biggest controversy there is that most people who read it didn’t want to blow their brains out.
If you really want an underrepresented voice, read only women of color who aren’t bestsellers. I keep having moments where I want to read something only to find out it was written by a white man so I have to table it. ‘The Man’ has received so many advantages including getting in the publishing door. Much like other positions of power, they are over-represented in best selling or well respected titles. We should read smaller to help counter that.
Read what you want but make sure you’re seeing diverse options. On that note, I have to get back to reading an ARC written by a white dude.