Can We Give Readers Some Credit?

Give Readers Credit

I don’t mean to be all fist-shaking and “We’re going to Hell in a handbasket!”, but several articles had me putting on my cranky pants this week. Though they’re not directly linked, their combined force is pushing me to share and allow you to join in my ranty feelings. (Or disagree, you can do that, too).

First up, Dan Brown is reissuing The DaVinci Code as a YA book…because? This just feels like a broad stroke insult, especially to YA readers and writers, which the article details more closely.

While I’m less bothered by the thought of printing difficult books like The Sound & the Fury in multiple colorsI can see how such changes could be a great benefit for readers—it’s just a bummer to think about the loss of the challenge. Maybe this is the best way to get people reading something they would otherwise avoid, but there’s just something so unique about a challenging reading experience and I hate to see us navigating around it.

And finally, when checking out a Vulture article about BEA galleys, I noticed this:

“We’re restricting our annual list of top-ten galleys to fiction for two reasons: first, the strength of the 2016 lists, and second, the tendency of publishers to skip big nonfiction in an election year, when campaigns capture most of our fact-based attention.”

I don’t know how true that is, but wow. If it is true, I imagine some kind of sales data is guiding the decision. It still makes me a little huffy and puffy. And as several people mentioned on Twitter, those of us who do love information are looking for anything but politics right now.

I know 99% of this is about money, but is it so hard to give readers some credit and let them read?