Thursday, September 21, 2006

What kind of books sell -- a question of culture

We see a lot of books and memoirs by celebrities and politicians. It always seems like they are hitting moving targets. Some of them, like Bill Clinton's My Life or Colin Powell's My American Dream, do provide sharp insights into the debates that went on regarding policy issues, such as homosexuals in the military as vetted in 1993. A lot of them seem to be hitting a moving target. Carolyn Kennedy's (and Ellen Aldermans') "The Right to Privacy" comes to mind.

The general rule seems to be you have to make the name for yourself in something else first, then you can produce best sellers.

It takes real originality for an unknown to come up with a breakout idea, as with Donald Maass and Writing the Breakout Novel. Yet Stephen King started it off in 1973.

And college age Christopher Paolini has started it out with his fanatasy novels Eragon (to be followed by Eldest, as part of The Inheritance Trilogy), with the first novel to become a movie late in 2006, from 20th Century Fox.

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