A Book is a Book: Literary Vs. Commercial

A Book is a Book: Literary Vs. Commercial

Hello everyone,

What do you see in the picture? Books, right? A book means someone (the author) is trying to give you a message. Trying to transport you to a different place, time, or simply to make you see your own world in a different point of view. The whole purpose of a book is simply to give you a message, to make you think critically, or to make you stop thinking about your daily life, and just drown within its pages. The same for a movie, play, music, painting, or any form of art that triggers something inside you.

But I was astonished to discover over the weekend, while I was taking a self-publishing course, that here in Brazil some books are not considered Literature, because they are more commercial or because their writing style isn’t as refined as others. I felt like these types of books were underestimated, as if they weren’t as good or valued as the others.

I always thought we had one Young-Adult genre, where all the sub-genres derived from, however, we have a Literary YA, and a commercial YA. (The names are different in Portuguese but won’t change the meaning of what I’m saying.) So where does this in-between commercial YA lies? Why Brazilians are not publishing Young-Adult novels that are not so refined (but still sends you a message clearly), and are more commercial? Most of the books we consume here are Young-Adult novels that come from english speaking countries, however, we ourselves are not writing them.

Doesn’t a book still have the same value even if it’s simply entertaining, and not didactic or refined, or stylistic more polished? I believe that books, no matter what genre, should all have the same value, because they are all trying to teach you something, entertain you, or make you feel something. The more rules we put on how books should look like, the less people will read it, because they will stay within one category. A book is supposed to make you feel fun, silly, courageous, strong, vulnerable, and intelligent. Just like we have different moods and tastes, so should books. Yes, some people think that YA books are silly or for teenagers, but they still make me feel good. Isn’t that the whole point of reading something? Having a good time?

If we want to stop complaining that the new generation doesn’t read that many books, why don’t we stop discriminating books in the first place? If it makes you feel happy, whole, and overall satisfied that is all that matters.

Don’t give up reading,

Fefe.

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Taking a Risk

Taking a Risk

Okay, so have you ever had a project that you felt like it was your baby?

That was my book to me. I worked on it on the course of two years, writing it up till four AM, with my headphones on and the whole world off. The funny thing is, writing was the easiest part. After you write a book, you have to go back and edit it, fixing all grammar, spelling or story mistakes you can find. I probably read my book about ten times during the editing period, and after each person who read it gave me feedbacks, I would go back and fix it some more.

My final draft doesn’t look anything like the first. I’ve changed so many things, until I thought it was the best way I could tell that story. I was twenty-one years old when I started, and now at twenty-six I finally had the guts to self-publish it. You know what’s scarier than putting your work out there? Is having someone review it.

Let me tell you, I was terrified of receiving feedback, because as I said, this project was so close to my heart that I just wanted people to love it as much as I do. However, we have to let go of that fear and take a risk, because people should know about your work.

I’ve received my first review this week, and for me it was really helpful. I had some critiques, but they were well structured and clear, which will help me write my next book. When you know your weaknesses, you know where you need to pay more attention to. Even more so, I could see someone else–from outside my own social circle–read, enjoy, connect, and identify with my characters, and that for me is the most gratifying part of this job. All I ever wanted was to tell a story people wanted to hear (or read in this case).

For a girl who speaks english as a second language, to be able to write an entire book in english, and have it published, is something to be proud of. So, if you have a project you are passionate about, but you are not sure people will like it, you should take a risk, like I did, and show it to the world. Like I once heard on a TV show long time ago, if my art can touch at least one person, than I am happy enough.

Take a risk,

Fernanda.

If you want to check my review please visit this page: Book Review

If you want to check my book go to the Book tab on my home page.