I’ve never been a snob. I may have been falsely mistaken for one due to my natural shyness or introversion, but I’ve never been one to think that one person is better than another. Sure, I do think that some people make better choices than others and different to what I would choose, but I’m not one to throw a blanket of judgment upon anyone. Or anything.
Unfortunately, when it comes to book circles, I’ve noticed snobbery is very real. Genre snobbery. In particular in the romance genre.
Here’s how I see it.
Anyone who devotes years of their life, time and energy to writing a book, putting in the hard work to edit, rewrite and make it the best it can be is worthy of my respect. And, if they then score a publishing deal well, double my respect.
Why? Because, writing a book is hard. Writing a book that is publishable is even harder. And writing a book that sells well is almost impossible. Well, not quite, but you get my drift.
When it comes down to it, there are brilliant books in every genre, just as there are awful books in every genre. I’ve read works of literary fiction that have literally put me to sleep. I’ve read works of crime fiction that have been so poorly written (in my view) that I had to put the book down. And I’ve read some pretty lame romance novels too.
But, to taint one type of author or one genre of book with a generalized statement that they aren’t real writers, is really poor form. As is devaluing and demeaning their work. It’s not okay.
The snobbery that exists within the industry, with publishers, editors, authors, reviewers, and readers is rubbish.
Did you know, the romance writing genre is one of the strongest, most consistently performing genres in publishing?
In the U.S., it’s a billion dollar industry! Sure they may not be saving the world or writing books that will be ‘judged’ (and I use that word lightly) classics, they are still worthy of respect. They are doing their job as authors – filling a need; a need for good stories. It’s as simple as that.
Of course, the definition what a ‘good‘ story is, is in the hands of the reader. But, as with everything I always say like it? – read more of it. Don’t like it? – find another genre. But don’t rubbish it, belittle it or the person who chooses to read it. That’s just plain rude and disrespectful.
Do you have a favourite genre? Or try and read widely?