A writer’s job is to entertain, right? So, imagine the joy that must come to an author when her book lands on the bestseller list. The knowledge that lots and lots of readers are escaping into this novel must be pure satisfaction after the countless hours of love, blood, sweat, and tears that went into writing that story. And what if that novel lingers on the bestseller list? Or people stand in line, waiting for a bookstore to open, just to get their mitts on that book? That’s the kind of crazy that most authors would love to experience.
But just because the buying public has become infatuated with a story doesn’t mean that the reviewers and critics will praise it.
Most writers I know strive for critical approval. They work hard at the tricky and often frustrating balancing act of juggling how a story is structured with developing characters that breathe, settings that exist, and situations that engage, all while creating layers of meaning and painting prose that enraptures. When all of these elements synchronize just right, a book reaches a level of success that often leads to rave reviews and awards. Why wouldn’t an author embrace this sort of acknowledgment?
But just because a story is a literary masterpiece doesn’t mean that the buying public will fall in love with it.
So, which would you choose, if given the choice? Would you prefer to be the author of a best selling book, or to be an author of a book that wins awards for its literary merit?
As a reader, are you more likely to read a best-selling novel or one that has won a fabulous award?