August 1st, 2010 17:52 EST
The World Book Market is Drowning Among a Huge Crowd of Titles
The days when people queued in Russia, one of the prime lands of literature, to buy a new book coming out to the market, are out. Now it is the publishers that are queuing to sell their books. The world market seems to be drowning among a huge crowd of titles.
Bookstores seem to be filled with new choices in literature: criminal novels, sex books,
cooking books, crossword puzzles, self-help books, books by the famous, children`s books and travel guides.
Best-seller lists seem to vary from bookstore to bookstore. Top literary prizes seem to go sometimes to authors who prefer money or fame, to art. Big publishers, squeezed by the tight conditions of sales and profit making and having lost forty percent of their business to the new digital publishers who mushroomed in every corner in the past fifteen years, seem to publish only those titles that are sure to sell- rather than those that are surely literature. "Optimum sales" has taken over from the "optimum art" in literature.
The new generation don`t seem to have heard of the old masters: Tchehov, Tolstoy, Kafka, Solzhenitsyn, Dostoyevsky, Sholokov, Pasternak, Panait Istrati, Steinbeck, Somerset Maugham, Hamsun, Ibsen, Strindberg, Sillanpaa, Undset, Sartre, Bergson, Shakespeare, Dante, Moliere, Cervantes, Schiller, Goethe, Balzac, Proust, Faulkner, Joyce, Eliot, Buck, Beckett, Naruda and hundreds more from each nation and culture from east to west and south to north. The new set of authors lead the way into a new literature and into a new life style: crime, gourmet cooking, self help, killing time by crossword puzzles, sex without love, travel-craze and fashion.
What happened to the lovely short stories, fiery poetry, autobiographies by interesting persons, romantic love and life stories, true stories of human happiness, miracles, exciting novels of adventure, historical novels? These are forgotten in the shadow of the new literature of crime and sex and crossword puzzles and rubbish literary products which face us in the front rows of books when we enter a bookstore.
And the literary critics write about as many books as they can, but the count never reaches more than a few percent of books sent to them. Aren`t there any good books among the mass of books sent to them?
Literature seems also strongly invaded by TV and Internet.
A good publisher says, "Books are more important than buildings; as they last longer."
How to bring literature into its good position, so fewer and better books are published and not so many bad-taste books crowd the shelves? This is a very important question, as art and literature are strong manifestations of our existence which shape our lives.
The author of this article, Askin Ozcan, has published six titles in the U.S.A.
(Available at 200 internet bookshops incl. www.amazon.com)
Global distribution by Ingram Book.
Wisdom In Smile (Xlibris) , ISBN 142577153X
Small Miracles (Outskirts Press) , ISBN 1598001000
The Second Venice (Outskirts Press) , ISBN 1598000888
Stockholm Stories (Xlibris) , ISBN 1425771629
Lightning And A Bouquet Of Roses (Publish America) , ISBN 1424111870
The Mini-Submarine (Xlibris) ISBN 978-1-4363-9414-7
Two of his books ("Wisdom In Smile" and "Small Miracles" ) will be published this year also in India by Prakash Books.
Askin Ozcan writes for www.thesop.org, www.newsblaze.com, www.theseoultimes, www.americanchronicle.com
Author`s web-page: www.xlibris.com/AskinOzcan.html