With the ebook revolution and such, many hailed an age in which more and more unconventional fiction would be brought to the spotlight. But what we have seen instead? fiction that appeals to the lowest common denominator. It turns out the masses produces mass writing. Genre novels dominate the kindle sales. There are a ton of romances and paranormal stuff. A shit load of fantasy, especially the LOTR clones, and the not very innovative types of fantasy. If you can write a good thriller, you are assured kindle riches. Oh yes, lots of badly written Erotica. But yeah, genre dominates.
One thing is for sure, ebooks will not be give us the next David Forster Wallace, or Thomas Pynchon. I don’t think it will give us the likes of Fitzgerald or the Hemingway people idolize so much.
I rarely ever buy self-pub books because there are so few that tickles my literary bone. I have bought 2: Nameless and Gollyweister. With those two novels, I was able to ignore my boredom and read them through. The writing isn’t especially difficult nor are they a ‘grab by the balls’ voice.
On the plus side, people prefer familiar and easy. To the degree that you can produce familiar and easy on the fly, you will do well on the kindle. But if you want to develop a more difficult voice, with a strange style, and a brand of stories that don’t fall for tropes, then you will have to work a lot harder. You have to find those who are looking to read something a little more difficult. They are out there. But most do not own a kindle, and your path to kindle riches is less than assured than say if you released another urban fantasy dreck with yet another love triangle.
One note on Darcie Chan, and her bestselling literary novel, I had sampled it. The writing did not grab my attention. Keep in mind here, my idea of ‘grab by the balls’ writing is Hollinghurst or Ondaajte so I am a snob in that regard. I just think if you are going to write about ordinary people with ordinary dramas, then you must have extraordinary writing. But that is just me, and I’m in the minority.
So yeah, it’s just easier to look through books published traditionally to find the truly interesting. Unless you want to recommend your own novel with its ‘grab by the balls’ writing style.