Sunday, December 10, 2006

Authors are plenty; writers are few

The other morning I saw a guest on one of those morning talk shows. I don’t remember the name of the show; they all sort of meld into one another they’re so much alike. A music group, a health segment, light politics, and the latest kidnapping, serial killing, or bombing. I figure broadcast curricula in colleges must include the course, “Formula for pre-commute shows.”

This guest was an attractive young woman who’s an author. She had a laugh like a small bell. She’s written some sort of book telling a person how to send greeting cards to people they love. I think the mute feature is a true gift from God to my remote.

I scanned the New York Times bestseller list today, and nonfiction has really come into its own. Among the top ten are three political books, one more book from an atheist talking about why God is a bummer, a book from Jimmy Carter whose output is regrettably ten times more productive now than when he was president, and something from Nora Ephron called “I Feel Bad about my Neck.”

That’s the state of the nonfiction book world we who write in that genre can aspire to. These books have stimulated enough orders to be classified as best sellers, and I’m guessing most libraries have eagerly clicked to stock them on the shelves in the interest of enriching American culture.

Everyone’s an author nowadays. Only a few are writers. (Kay B. Day/Dec. 10, 2006)


jill terry said...

Touché Miss Kay! (Everyone’s an author nowadays. Only a few are writers.)

And I whole-heartedly agree that the mute feature is a gift from God, but an even better gift is the off button. Sadly, I find myself using it more and more.

Happy Holidays to you and yours.


Kay Day said...

Hi, Jill, you got that right.

An example is the "Head-on" commercial. Every time I'd hear it, if I couldn't find the remote, I was frantic.

Thanks for the greetings and you have a great one too!--best, Kay

Doug Ranno said...

Good point. Makes me wonder what catagory I fit into.

Kay Day said...

Hi, Doug,
Thanks for visiting.

I see the book market divided down the middle:

Group 1=celebs, self-styled experts and academic experts who write as an extension of their existing platform.

Group 2=those who write for the sake of writing.

I guess I get a little weary of the pop culture control on the book industry.

best, and thanks for visiting!