Reading the unpublished

There is so much new stuff out there to read.

Did you know that in 2009, over 280 thousand books were traditionally published in the U.S. alone?

I’m sure a lot of those were education or technical books, but I’m also just as sure a good portion of them were fiction.  I got that number from Wikipedia so who knows how accurate it is, but it’s not far off the mark.  A quick Google search shows that number is only growing as each year goes by, and with the advent of self-publishing websites like Smashwords, it’s damn near exploding.  Check out this scary graph:

Traditional vs Self-Published
Traditional vs Self-Published from Words of Every Type

Holy crap!

How is a reader supposed to keep track of it all?  How do you pick what to read?

Well, this one reader/author is seriously contemplating not reading anything published – at all.

At the moment, I’m reading through two unpublished manuscripts.  One by Learco Finck (dude, get your blog up and running) and the other by Sue J. Boulton.  I’m supposed to be reading to offer feedback, but, frankly, I’m enjoying them both so much, I’m just reading.  For free.

And I’m beginning to think, with all the multitude of books and stories out there to read, that maybe this could be some sort of strategy for cheap-skates like myself.

The reason I bring it up is because of a comment I got from a fellow critiquer (is that a word?) over on Critters.  She didn’t right out say it, but she indicated, more or less, that she’s not a writer (I had assumed everyone on Critters was a writer so I was a little shocked), but likes to troll writing critique groups to find new authors.  She told me this much because she was encouraging me to expand one of my short stories into a novel.

WTF?  Do you know of anyone who does that?  Is it common?

The quality of writing for most unpublished works is pretty bad, and the notion of wading through all that crap to find the gold nuggets is a little daunting.  I can’t imagine a lot of folks actively doing this, but there it is.  I know at least one gal does it, and, well, unintentionally, I’m doing it.

Just saying…

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5 thoughts on “Reading the unpublished

  1. Hi Nila!

    I know from the time where I was active on critters.org that most manuscripts there were pretty bad, so, wow what a couragous person that girl must! At the same time it’s true that every week there were a couple of very enjoable stories to read … so…. shrug
    I’m glad you’re enjoying the read! I was so worried you would be bored to death. I actually felt guilty for proposing the exchange afterwards =p
    Anyway, I wish I HAD my blog up and running so I could tell the world about your book. I’m not surprised everybody at the conference you attended told you to get this published asap!
    I’ll email you as soon as I finish reading.

    Hope you’re well!

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