Tolkien and Dickens to Collaborate

Via the BBC:  Tolkien and Dickens grandsons join for book.

FILED UNDER: Entertainment, Quick Takes
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. I’m rather bothered by the growing trend of the children of famous authors churning out books based solely on their family name, rather than on their own merit as writers.

  2. Franklin says:

    @Stormy Dragon: If they had any respect for themselves they’d write under a pseudonym.

  3. michael reynolds says:

    @Franklin:
    As does “Joe Hill” — son of Stephen King.

  4. @Franklin:

    The problem for me isn’t what it says about the writers themselves, but that I see it as a sign of artistic stagnation in publishing. In an era where it should be easier than ever to find interesting new writers, it seems to be that actual content doesn’t even matter anymore.

  5. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Books have followed movies into the blockbuster business. Celebrity books are approved because they self-market. With a hook like this you get on the Today show.

  6. gevin shaw says:

    @michael reynolds:

    And look at the one man industry that is James Paterson. Hard to tell if he writes a word anymore under his byline. But his name sells, so “it” keeps cranking them out. Meanwhile up and (if they’re lucky) coming authors get to sell their ebooks for a buck a piece.

  7. WR says:

    @michael reynolds: “Books have followed movies into the blockbuster business. Celebrity books are approved because they self-market. With a hook like this you get on the Today show. ”

    Which is one more reason Amazon is eating all the traditional publishers’ lunches. Because they still believe in writers, not just brand names. And any writer who has dealt with them can tell the difference immediately.

  8. @WR:

    Which is one more reason Amazon is eating all the traditional publishers’ lunches.

    This is why the publishers should take note. We no longer really need them to actually make the books for us. The only value added they still add to the process is as a filter, separating out that good from the bad so I don’t have to waste my time on crappy books.

    If they stop doing this out of laziness, they’re going to put themselves out of business.

  9. @Stormy Dragon:

    To put it another way, the name that Thames River Press should be trying to cash in on isn’t Dickens or Tolkein, but “Thames River Press”. They should be trying to make it so that whenever I’m not sure I want to read again, my first thought should be, “Well, what does Thames River Press recommend?”

    To put this in MR’s movie analogy, they should be trying to make themselves the Pixar of publishing, where a long string of good project selection has got it to the point that I will pretty much go see any movie Pixar makes solely because Pixar is the one making it, without knowing anything else about it.

  10. sam says:

    @michael reynolds:

    As does “Joe Hill” — son of Stephen King.

    As does Nicholas Cage, born Nicholas Coppola. (Not a writer but same deal.)

  11. Tillman says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Reminds me of the Twelve publishing brand. They did Chris Buckley’s “Boomsday.”