A challenge to celebrity and well-known authors

authors2This blog challenge is inspired by two things:

1) I am trying to read and review more self-published authors, which I feel is only fair if I’m asking others to read and review my books. In doing so I have come across books by self-published authors which, to me, are equally as good, if not better than some from publishing houses, and deserve to reach a wide audience. I admit I have also read some that were less appealing, but then the same goes for some ‘published’ books.

2) As a self-published author, when a celebrity author pops up on TV having published their new book, especially if its fiction, I admit it does go through my mind: ‘Well it’s easy for you, you’re hardly going to struggle to find an agent or a publisher are you?’ Sour grapes? A little, possibly. However, I’m guessing that many other writers in my position think the same. Now, at this point I would emphasise I am not passing any judgment on the quality or validity of these works, it’s just that they have a head start on the rest of us when it comes to getting published. Also I understand that’s the way the world works. As a publisher it must be a pretty safe bet.

So the challenge:

Is that every now and then those celebrity and well known authors (I’ll come back to them), when they are looking for something to read, delve into the world of self-published authors. If they think the book has merit they champion the writer with agents and publishers, or if they think it’s good but needs more work they help that writer. They don’t have to publicise this in any way. I can see why they wouldn’t want to i.e. they would not want to be inundated with unsolicited manuscripts.

Well-known authors

By ‘well-known’ authors I mean those writers that are lucky enough to making a living out of their work. If anything well-known, well established, authors are in an even better positon to accept this challenge. They will have achieved that position through hard work. Most will know what it’s like to be a ‘struggling author’ trying to get that break. I would also suggest they have a better idea of what constitutes a good book in their genre. I understand these authors are busy people, but most of us know within a few chapters (or even less) if we’re going to like a book. So in many cases they need not even have to make a purchase. On Smashwords 20% of any of my books can be read before being bought and also if authors have a website then a number of chapters tend to be on there (as mine are).

Is it happening already?

Maybe it is, and for the reason I give above, it’s not widely publicised – we don’t hear about it. If it has happened to you, or someone you know, then it would be good to hear that. You don’t need to give names, just the fact that it is happening would be encouragement to many.

If it’s not happening, or not very often, why not?

So if you’re reading this blog and know a celebrity author/well-known author then perhaps you would pass this on to them. Or pass it on anyway to other authors and eventually it may reach one or two. It would be good to hear from them (anonymously if that helps), are they doing this? Or, perhaps they might agree to take up the challenge occasionally. I can only think it would be good for everyone. A greater selection of good books and authors in all genres will only encourage more reading – everybody wins!

As always, and especially in this case, views and comments are welcome.

Ian Martyn

Author: Ian Martyn

Science Fiction Writer

8 thoughts on “A challenge to celebrity and well-known authors”

  1. Hello Ian, I will take up your challenge to review some of the self-published sci-fi authors out there. I am neither celebrity nor famous author, but I can offer an honest review on the strengths and weaknesses of the writings I see. I cannot promise any immediate response because of an already heavy workload, but i can promise that I will do my best. If you know of anyone who is interested in getting reviewed, please contact me. I have published your blog article before and you know my email address. Otherwise, please leave a message at my blog, and I will get back to you. Cheers, Christine Sun.

    1. Christine, thanks for this and I have left a message on your blog. Also thanks for publishing some of my blog articles, much appreciated. If it’s OK with you I’ll list your blog on my resources page.

  2. Hello Ian, I responded in my blog but wasn’t sure whether you’d get it. Basically, I’m happy to read your book/s and provide honest review/s, and will be glad to see my blog listed on your resources page. (P.S. Last time you gave permission for me to translate and publish your article “Go on – read some science fiction”, which can be viewed here in English [http://www.ebookdynasty.net/Topics/2015/20150403EN.html] and also in Chinese. That is the only article of yours that I have touched.) Cheers, Christine Sun.

  3. I think there are big name authors out there who are willing to help writers at an earlier stage. I’ve no idea how many, but from personal experience, I know it does happen.
    Many years ago, I attended a workshop at a writing conference, and submitted a sample for the tutor to take a look at – at that time I had no idea how few people actually take up that sort of opportunity. I got lots of help and encouragement from the tutor, and he continued to guide me (by post) for over a year afterward. The author in question? The prolific fantasy author, David Gemmell.

    1. Deborah, thanks. I think just to know it is happening is great encouragement. As for David Gemmell, one of my favourites. I think I’ve read everything he’s written

      1. Funnily enough, I’ve only read one of his books. They are very much aimed at a male audience (no female characters, heavy on the fighting, etc.), and as such, not my sort of read. None of that detracts from the help and advice he gave me, which was generous and never biased towards his own style.
        They are out there!

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