It’s funny how two articles about two completely different subjects can have a tie-in.
When a recent news headline appeared out of nowhere about an upcoming book being penned by one of the Real Housewives of New Jersey, I could only think about the common occurrence of bigwig publishing companies signing persons- of-visibility-and-popularity. For those interested, HarperCollins It Books is the lucky publisher of this “real” golden opportunity. (Note that I have neither watched RHONJ nor followed news about any of its plots, stars, and what I assume are scripted fights and drama, aka TV fake-outs, in the words of a reality TV industry insider).
I read the brief article and then happened across a few posts by non-fans of the show that sneeringly mentioned they just might check the book out from their local public library in lieu of spending money on a copy.
This brought to mind another article that crossed my path recently, written by an indie author. This author generously offered to donate a few copies of one of his books to the local library, after which the staff promised the books would be catalogued. Later he found out in disbelief that the books had been either lost or possibly donated by the library to some charity, and that the library had a policy of handling “indie” books differently (in this case, with obvious indifference). He was understandably mystified, outraged and hurt. As an author, I too have experienced some utterly surprising library issues and therefore the article really hit home.
Instead of welcoming indie books, many libraries exhibit prejudice and narrow-mindedness. Excuses for this run the gamut from “The book is self-published…” (horrors!) to “The topic is valuable, but the illustrations don’t compare favorably…” “We have space limitations…” and even “Indie authors can’t appear here to share their books if the books aren’t in our system.” ‘Tis true that books written by cast members of reality/fake/reality shows can be found in public libraries, while a variety of quality educational and entertaining works produced by indie writers and publishers aren’t allowed in, even when offered as a donation. (Thankfully this is not the case with every library; kudos to those that extend open arms.)
Personally, I’m just like a kid in a candy shop with regard to books. I love to peruse the kaleidoscope of colorful, unique covers and illustrations and discover new works on my favorite topics. With regard to libraries, it will be a great day when more will proudly display and promote numerous indie works.
Getting back to reality, it seems that one might have to be fake in order to be taken for real, which can lead to a “real” book publishing deal. Imagine that!
The upcoming book will apparently be filled with personal family stories, secrets to happiness, and friendship advice, among other things. What might the Real Therapists of New Jersey think?
As a child, Laura Marlowe fell in love with books, poetry, and dogs. Later, Laura began writing poetry and short stories and worked to support animal rights. Her first published work, Tommy the Throwaway Dog, is especially close to her heart. She donates books and proceeds from the sales of the book, iBook and DVD and appears by invitation at special events and institutions to share her work as an author and animal welfare activist. In her spare time she listens to international music and travels. Her second educational children’s book, Roo B. Dee and the Lazy Day, is now delighting and inspiring youngsters and adults.