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Down with celebrity publishing, down

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South African contemporary non fiction is my favourite genre of books. I read some great memoirs, warped accounts of history and even some really narcissistic authors.

And while I celebrate and support local authors tremendously- I know the struggle, I am a South African writer- I believe that some people should not have been published.

There. I said it.

Lately, big publishing companies are not really looking for innovative and amazing works of literature or even simple pleasant reads, but rather using big popular names to sell books. Celebrity publishing is what I like to call it.

If you are popular on Twitter, you will sell books. But that does not mean your story is worth telling. *Side-eyes a certain best selling twelep.

So you are a decent journalist. You covered a big event or a dozen. Then you write a book about a certain big event that plummeted your career but you forget to even mention a single name of the people who are your subject matter.

And you are a great editor in chief. And you are a woman. And you have kids. That is a tremendous feat and I salute you. But I don’t think that should be chronicled in a book. That would make a great magazine article at most.

Also, you are a quite popular on social media and an all round funny guy. You trend every now and again. Also, you have some controversial opinions. That does not mean you should be writing a memoir. But if you do, at least write a good memoir.

Here’s the deal: there are no universal rules of what should and should not be written. (I wrote 200 pages on a subculture that I am not even part of).

But I firmly believe that big publishing companies are now more than ever guilty of a form of vanity publishing. It has become less about the content and more about who’s being published.

Yes, I understand that publishing houses are businesses, foremost, that need to make money but I believe that seriously bad writers are given huge book deals at the expense of some real, raw talent out there.

Talent is a subjective thing, especially in writing. What works for me may not work for others.

I believe life is too short for badly told stories filled with narcissism and self praise.

I am now done ranting. Admittedly this is not my usual rant genre which would typically involve questioning the devastating decisions made by some politicians that personally affect my life.

(Although at this hour-10:00 PM- I am trying to rationalise why would the police minister call a press conference at 7PM tonight and then cancel it 30 minutes before. I was already in Woolies buying snacks to get me through it. Yes, shame on me. I was in Woolies.)

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