Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Stephen King would be an indie author today

I believe that Stephen King would have a hard time getting a book deal if he was just starting out as an author today.

His first novel was Carrie. It's an unforgettable novel, and King demonstrated tremendous talent in its creation.

But I don't think that any publishers would pick him today if he was just a no-name nobody searching for that first book deal.

Just imagine the hand-wringing horror that would ensue if book stores suddenly stocked a book about teenagers plotting a cruel prank against a weird girl. And then poor, picked-on Carrie lashes out at everyone in a mass killing spree.

Wouldn't that be just the new book to chat up on the Daily Show?

People would blame it for encouraging the next school shooting. School shooting victims would deride it for trying to turn their horror into cheap entertainment. Despite the strong anti-bullying message in Carrie, critics would call it irresponsible that Carrie did not find a warm and fuzzy nonviolent solution to her predicament.

I have trouble imagining that a mainstream publisher would bring out a novel like Carrie today because of its startling nature. Of course, its provocative content is precisely what makes it such a compelling read.

Although large highly consolidated fiction publishers today might not take a chance on publishing a novel like Carrie today, almost anything still goes in the indie publishing world. Authors with stories that would give  publishers public relations nightmares can still reach an audience.

So, if King had been born years later, I believe he would have self published. He's a gifted storyteller who worked hard on his art through all of his adult years. The demands of his creativity would simply have overflowed into the public arena even without a publisher.

Of course, if King were unjustly flung among the digital hordes, he probably would need to make Carrie a free ebook in the hopes of snagging attention among readers. Then, he could hope further that some people would pay for his other novels as they came out.

I want to believe that he would have risen to the top just like he did because his style impresses me every time. His prose flows like Niagara Falls, and his vivid word choices reveal a genius's understanding of humanity, especially when under stress.

Right now, I'm reading The Shining by Stephen King. I read many of his novels when I was a teenager and young adult, and, in recent years, I've been going back and reading more of his work.

Unlike Stephen King, who most certainly deserves his high-profile success, I'm a member of the little-known ranks of indie authors.

I've published 10 fantasy novels and 3 works of nonfiction.

My newest fantasy series is Werewolves in the Renaissance and you can start reading it right now with a free ebook.

Werelord Thal: A Renaissance Werewolf Tale

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