Monday, 9 January 2017

When big publishers can make a lemon of a book a best seller

Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life
by Jason Hanson
On Amazon

I bought this because I thought it would be interesting for developing a character I’m working on. Also, I was looking for some flashy spy tricks. I’m sorry to say I didn’t finish this book. After reading half of it, I just put it away.

Hanson does talk about ways to escape being taped, being tailed etc etc but the writing style is not to my taste. The problem for me is that this is a giant advert for his courses and videos. Every second page is about him telling a client X in Y, and giving a talk to corporation A in B. Boring. But it’s a best seller so I guess he’s satisfying some market.

That was my review for Amazon. What I did not say was this:

Frankly, this bloody awful book makes me wonder about big publishing houses and the best seller lists.  

This book comes from TarcherPerigee - Penguin Books USA. They've got lots of clout, including getting endorsements from celebs like Rachel Ray and the director of the International Spy Museum. 

The publishers can pay take out to lunch, editors from all the major newspapers in return for "honest reviews".  They can also pay for book spots on TV shows and magazines.

I keep reading studies that say big publishers are losing out to other players.  However, it is clear to me that deep pockets still can make this lemon of a book a best seller. To be honest, that makes me a little sick. I've read some bloody good indie reads in the last few weeks that deserve to be up there and instead we get this trash. 

I'm not falling for the Best Seller tag again. Bring on the Indie authors!

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