Over the years, as Sophie’s Corner got onto its feet and gained more followers, I’ve gotten emails from writers asking me to read and review their book on my blog. Many of these works were in the YA genre and had fascinating synopses; they sounded like books that I would enjoy, that readers of this blog might enjoy reading about. Although I would agree to some of these requests, it quickly became apparent that I didn’t have the time to read and review all these books. And I felt bad about turning down all these requests. Even worse, I ended up not responding to a lot of these requests because I felt bad.
As you guys know, aside from reading YA novels and blogging about them, I’ve also been writing novels of my own. Over the past months, I’ve gotten to know the online writing community who are warm, friendly and always willing to help out or offer encouraging words. Many of these writers are unpublished like me. Others are published (independently or traditionally) and trying to promote their work. It made me think about the books that I read, review, and promote here on my blog.
I love the book blogging community. I’ve been with you guys for two years (approaching two and a half) and you guys constantly inspire me to push my limits when it comes to reading. I’ve discovered so many amazing books because of blogging, and these books have shaped my worldview and who I am as a person.
However, as an aspiring/amateur writer learning about the publishing industry, I also know that……. it’s hard to be a writer. In today’s technological day and age, there are SO many writers out there. It is hard to get your works recognized, whether you are traditionally published or self-published. The books and the writers that we talk about here on the book blogging community encompasses maybe only the top 1% or 2% of the YA fiction genre. The vast majority of books are unknown and under-recognized.
Which made me think… Does a book have to be famous to be a “good book”?
I would say no. Just like in any creative industry, be it film, music, or books, it takes not only talent and skill but a huge dose of luck to be successful. Just because a book is less well-known doesn’t mean that we won’t enjoy it. And just because a book sold millions of copies doesn’t mean that we will love. I’m sure we’ve all encountered examples of books that are uber-hyped, that everyone seems to love, that we don’t.
Going forward, I want to commit to reading more books that are less well-known, books that have less than thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of ratings on Goodreads and Amazon. I want to give them a chance, and I think I will be pleasantly surprised.
This also made me think: How else can I help promote YA writers who are less well-known? How can I connect YA writers to bloggers who want to read YA? That’s how the idea of Writers’ Corner came to me.
What is Writers’ Corner?
This will be a section of this blog which gives YA writers an opportunity to shine, through guest posts, author interviews, or an excerpt of their work. The purpose is to allow YA writers a chance to promote their work, and to expose the book blogging community to less well-known works in YA.
We’ll start off in the first two weeks with TWO posts per week on Mondays and Thursdays (while Sophie’s Corner goes on hiatus). In September, I am hoping to continue with Writers’ Corner as a weekly or biweekly feature.
*Note that I did use the term “indie books” in the title of this blog post. While “indie” strictly only applies to books that have been self-published, many traditionally-published books also struggle to gain traction and attention (please correct me if I’m wrong!!) Writers’ Corner is not only intended for “indie” books, but also books that have been traditionally-published although less well-known in the book blogging community.