And most of the time novels that I want to read are well-written: that is, with a spark and joy, with a love of language, with careful editing, and proofreading.
And a story that draws me in.
Now, there is a debate going on in the publishing world right now. Are indie-published (self-published) writers writing good stuff that's worthy of being published by traditional publishers? Or are they all slap-dash amateurs who don't want to put the work in to craft a really compelling story?
I don't know that there's anyone out there saying that no indie work is as good as mainstream published work.
But a lot of book reviewers out there simply won't accept self-published titles for review.
Are they passing up a good thing?
You tell me. Can your indie book go toe-to-toe with the output of the big New York publishers?
Now, today, let's find out. You send me the opening chapter from your indie-published book, a novel that has never been published anywhere before, and you also send me the opening chapter from a mainstream published book in your library that you consider to be worse than yours.
Don't tell me which is which.
I will "blind taste" the two chapters. I will then guess which one is which, and say why here on this blog.
You will then reveal the identity of the books in a comment, and we'll see if I was right.
Note: I will read on the assumption that traditional is better. Whichever chapter is better written, I will choose that as the mainstream published book.
Can you stump me?
It's a throwdown.
Email me with the two chapters at teenage underscore heroes at sign yahoo dot com, and we'll get started.
- In order for this to work, you will need to choose chapters that I can independently verify after the contest. The easiest way to do this is to give links to an Amazon.com page where you can look inside the first chapter.
- To keep the contest objective, I will need to receive chapters that I have never seen before. If something seems familiar, I will contact you and ask you if I have the right title.
- Restrict your chapters to books that have been published in the last year or two. We need to see what's going in the contemporary book world.
- Sample Throwdown!
Can you tell which of the following first-chapter paragraphs were crafted by a self-publisher and which by a traditionally published author? BTW-- they are in the same literary genre. No fair, too little to judge? Try it.
It seemed as though Mrs. Langdon was holding something back. Father Roy felt it the day he bumped into her in the canned food aisle of the supermarket. She had startled when he said hello, dropping the can of green beans whose label she'd been inspecting, and blushed when he'd kneeled to pick it up. And he had felt it during mass when his gaze fell upon her eyes as he delivered his sermons. Sad serious eyes. Beseeching eyes, glazed with a somber emptiness. In her mid-twenties, Mrs. Langdon had the mien that Father Roy had only seen in souls burdened by the yoke of a life-long secret too shameful to reveal.
After a few miles, the cyclist felt bored and restless. He knew he was supposed to take it easy, but his body felt so good, it was as if he were flying over the pavement. His legs were stronger than they'd ever been, and not only was he not out of breath, his breathing was shallow and easy like he was strolling in a park. It was a lovely spring day, and he welcomed the warmth of the sun on his back. Despite warnings to the contrary, he was ready to push himself. Why shouldn't he take advantage of feeling this good? Perhaps they'd punish him in some form or fashion, but the cyclist was confident they wouldn't follow through on any of the threats they made to hurt his family back home.