Underappreciated Authors

I don’t like it when this term is tossed around. I don’t like it one bit.

Whenever someone says one particular author is underappreciated, that tells me that they’re saying some other author is undeserving of whatever they’ve earned as an author. We could be talking money, fame, awards, anything.

We all understand that there are plenty of great authors out there who haven’t been discovered or don’t sell many books despite critical acclaim. We get it. But it’s not like some of the most popular authors are sabotaging everyone else. Sure they get more attention and resources from their publishers, but it’s because they sell. No one ever said only the best authors can be bestsellers. It’s a little ridiculous and disrespectful to start saying one person deserves something over someone else who has already put in the work and hours to achieve their success. It isn’t easy for anyone in publishing. No one knows which authors are going to become bestsellers and which aren’t. (strictly referring to unknown writers and not celebrities.)

There’s an author who’s written a few books (three, maybe?) and they’re just as good as any I’ve read. But I’d be willing to bet that not a single one of you would even know who he is. Heck, I don’t even know what he looks like. But I’d never go so far as to say that he should be more widely read than he is and someone else shouldn’t be. Come on.

What do you think about this?

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18 thoughts on “Underappreciated Authors

  1. Who’s the author? I have a condition called Curiosity, and it’s burning in fine style now. 😜 Do tell.
    The farthest I go would be to say that an author is really fantastic and I’m surprised they aren’t more ragingly popular/more widespread.
    What bothers me is when authors publish several really good books, with strong plots, colorful characters, and believable leads/villains, and then coast. By which I mean they slacken off on the dedication to their stories that was so evident in the earlier books, and their characters and plots are flat (and repeats of the previous ones and very predictable). I see this is most often in series (though, of course, not in every series). These authors choose to rely on the popularity of their books to carry them through on slap-dash plots. Don’t know, maybe it’s just me.
    I guess I always figure if an author is really good (and has the right mindset), they’ll be writing for their own pleasure as much as mine, so it doesn’t matter whether they’re “underappreciated” or not. As long as the author’s happy, and I’m happy with the author, then it’s all good. 😉
    ~ Kat

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    • I’m not naming the author. I’m not trying to get anyone to read his books. And the only thing is that when you start talking about the dedication of a writer, then you’re coming to a conclusion with no proof. Unless you’re shadowing the author for half the year you have no idea how dedicated they are. So I did a free with that completely. Not every book an author writes is going to be great or to your liking. Which has nothing to do with anyone’s dedication.

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      • I didn’t mean like that kind of dedication. I meant like where you can tell that they put less effort into it than *they themselves* have put into their other books. And I mean outside of whether I personally like it; I’m talking about in general. I actually have an example in mind, but I don’t want to diss their books to other people. Maybe I’m more sensitive here, and I’m not saying that these authors are bad people or can’t write good books. In fact, it’s more because I know they *can* write good books if they have a mind to that it bothers me, if that makes sense. 😉 I guess I’d sum it up in that their heart isn’t apparent in it, which makes it flatter to me as the reader. I like it best when the author’s passion shines through, glowing in every poetic word and every vivid character. Of course, I’m strictly criticizing their work, *not at all* in any personal that’s whatsoever.
        Or I guess it’s all just me. 😉 But that’s okay.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I can think of several authors I adored for quite some time until it did feel as though they were phoning it in on their 7th novel in a series. So it’s not just you. As writer myself I wonder if they just got bored with the characters but felt compelled to continue to turn out works starring those characters because the public wanted it?

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  2. I don’t know if that’s saying someone else is undeserving…perhaps simply that this one lesser known author deserves it (whatever ‘it’ may be), too. Like a ‘wait your turn’ scenario or something? *shrugs*
    Eh, in the end I just say read whatever and whoever you want…their popularity doesn’t matter, anyways. The content of their work is what’s important 😛

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  3. I take a little umbrage with that, as well. If an author thinks they are under appreciated, to me it means that all those people who did read their book and enjoy it now don’t matter as much. Like, they’re only happy or feel successful when they’re wildly popular. But that doesn’t happen to 95% of authors. No author is under appreciated if even one person read their book and enjoyed it. Writing isn’t supposed to be a huge popularity contest. It’s an art.

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  4. I think it’s better to have 100 a devoted hardcore fans than it is to have 100,000 people who read your book and then forgot about it. I think Joss Whedon was the one to say something along those lines, and I wholly agree. I would be very happy to be a “cult” writer.

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  5. If you’re talking about Gillian Flynn, who’s written three books, Imma smack you.

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  6. I used to say that about one of my favorite authors, but I never saw it as something degrading to other authors. But now, I see this as unfair. Those blockbuster authors sell tons of copies for a reason. I don’t know what that is, but they do. Trash authors that sell millions obviously appeal to someone. Good writing is definitely not a prerequisite to selling millions of copies.

    It helps, but isn’t needed.

    Personally, I like the idea of a devoted fan base more than millions of copies sold, but no one caring about my work. So in that way, I can sympathize with the idea of underapprecated. But that is me talking for myself, not for anyone else.

    In a general sense, I agree with you.

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    • What do you mean millions of copies sold and no one caring about the work? They cared enough to buy the book. Are they also supposed to have a life size poster of the cover over their bed too?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes. Because that’s the sign of the ultimate fan.

        But here’s a question: how many people buy Book X because they recognize the author’s name but don’t care about the plot? I bet the numbers are higher than you think.

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      • I think it’s an exaggeration. Millions of people say they hate this about this author and that about that author, but obviously millions of others strongly disagree. James Patterson gets criticized all the time, right? For everything. But his readers still buy his books to be entertained. They aren’t buying them to read something comparable to Hemingway or Fitzgerald.

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