The internet is full of responses to this article that calls for JK Rowling to stop writing for the adult market because her books end up dominating the market and that means she is stopping other books from being read. There will always be ‘star’ writers whose new book heads straight to the top of the charts and sells based on their name. But should these writers stop and let others take their spot?
All writers start off at the bottom (I’m not talking about celebrities who then publish books as this is a very different issue). JK Rowling had many rejections and when she got her book deal just 500 copies were printed with no marketing. It was her words that brought her success. Harry Potter became publishing legend. It also got people reading. The article says it’s a shame that adults read the books and I have to disagree with that. I think getting people reading is a brilliant thing and people should never feel guilty about what they like to read. Hopefully people who read and loved Harry Potter went on to read other books as well.
If JK Rowling is like other writers then she loves to write and has a need to write. Just because she had a massive amount of success, does that mean she should let her passion go? I don’t think so. She has tried to use her success positively – her charitable donations are well known, and she tried to keep her crime books way from the name that breeds success. Of course, we know that didn’t work but again, credit to her for trying to avoid the books selling on just her name and for her trying to be like other writers who have to just rely on their words. She didn’t have to do that. She was guaranteed sales based on her name but I think trying a pseudonym showed that writing was more important than money to her.
Everyone has an opinion about publishing. Sure, it’s really hard for debut writers out there but ‘star’ writers were debuts once too and you really can’t tell someone to stop writing just because they’ve had success at it. We all want success. There’s always a joke that when you tell people you’ve written a book they ask if you’ll be the next JK Rowling. Yes, it can be frustrating and annoying. But let’s face it, we’d love to be able to answer “YES” :)
Do you think a writer should ever stop writing because of their success?