Home » Big Publishing, The Business of Writing » Genre lines: Why literary writers won’t self-publish

Genre lines: Why literary writers won’t self-publish

30 March 2014

From TeleRead:

Paul Bowes suggests that the reason literary writers can’t or don’t want to self-publish is a genre thing.

Guardian Books, and the literary world generally, have a tendency to conflate ‘writing’ with literary fiction: or at least, with literary fiction and the kind of serious non-fiction that is aimed at the same readership. I don’t think it’s possible to exaggerate the contempt with which these people regard self-publication. To other people, working in other genres, it looks like a reasonable option: but to someone who expects to be reviewed in the LRB or the TLS and the daily ‘heavies’, self-publication is an up-front admission that nobody who matters thought your stuff was good enough to publish.

In a follow-up, someone going by the handle “400pages” writes that traditional publishers are still seen as the “gatekeepers” of literary fiction to a greater extent than in other genres.

Unfortunately (as so many commentators have pointed out), this gatekeeping system is extremely elitist and cliquey, totally opaque to outsiders, and is biased towards a certain particular model of “writing” and “writers.” Self-publishing is to reject that system entirely – it is to throw a big “**** you” to the whole literary establishment and walk off on your own. That shuts a lot of doors, and means a lot of influential opinion-forming people will not bother to read your book. Perhaps you’ll get a good number of readers and even earn some money that way, but call yourself a “writer” in the hearing of the guardians of literary fiction and most of them will quietly sneer. As I mentioned in another comment, things are rather different in the music business, with glorious traditions like indie shoestring labels and unsigned bands with early cult followings making it rather the done thing to despise major record companies, encouraging experimentation with new models (it may also help that listening to a song is rather less of a time investment than reading a new novel). If self-publishing were to become sexy, with the rebellious down-at-heal classiness of good indie music, that would be the greatest revenge it could have on the traditional literary publishers. Is it going to? I don’t know. Frankly, I rather hope so: it would be fun to see.

I must confess to enjoying a bit of schadenfreude here. After years and years of looking down their snooty noses at genre fiction, literary fiction writers are now looking at something akin to an apocalypse. Traditional publishers just aren’t able to pay them as much money anymore, and they place too much of a value on traditional gatekeepers to let themselves dip a toe into the self-publishing water.

. . . .

Meanwhile, genre fiction writers, who don’t take themselves nearly so seriously, are able to get off the dying horse of traditional publishing and take their work directly to the readers.

Link to the rest at TeleRead

Big Publishing, The Business of Writing

63 Comments to “Genre lines: Why literary writers won’t self-publish”

  1. They won’t get into the lifeboat, it doesn’t have a first class selection…

  2. Having begun my career (failed) in literary fiction, I find this article really interesting. For many reasons. How to put my thoughts into words? Hmmmmm…
    Writing genre fiction (and self-pubbing) has shown me that literary fiction, in and of itself, does not exist as a separate entity. Take The Hunger Games, for example. Twenty years ago, if you delete the stupid holographic werewolves which should have been deleted no matter what you label the book, it might very well have been considered literary fiction. Now it’s genre fiction.
    Twilight? Well, maybe fantasy, maybe relatively poorly written lit fic. (Sorry, my bad. Thought the prose stunk and I didn’t much care for the wallpaper, uh, I mean protagonists.)
    IMO Chik-lit is nothing more than Lit-fic influenced by Sex and the City.

    But here’s what self-pubbing ‘genre’ fiction has done for me, oh, and finding some success as a self-pubber. It’s given me the courage to return to my first passion, literary fiction. I am currently working on a novel which I intend to self-publish. Why on earth would I not self-publish?

    If there’s one thing years and years of rejection have taught me it’s to ask myself that question – Why not?

    • I have a lit fic background too. And I love the idea of literary writers breaking away from trad pub and don’t see why it won’t happen. Even if it happens more slowly, because lit writers are used to getting all that validation (instead of money!)–I do think it will happen. It’s too delicious not to.

  3. Well, the term “vanity publishing” is probably alive and well among serious literary fiction writers. For that matter, I have a friend who writes SF and would rather go with fly-by-night small presses than self-publish, which he evidently considers a shameful thing.

    It is also possible that these authors depend on having their serious works published by their publishers and don’t want to offend them by self-publishing genre.

  4. My theory is that most literary fiction is bought not to be read, but to be displayed on a shelf. Therefore, the transition to digital is not a good one for this genre, whereas it’s been great for all the “guilty pleasure” books people want to read but don’t necessarily want people to know they’re reading.

  5. I don’t know how the rest of you here feel, but I am greatly relieved by this article.

    This is something I’ve been worrying about day and night. Maybe I can concentrate on my next book now that that’s all spelled out for me. Huge load off my mind.


  6. I will just say as someone who loves the good stuff of both that there is a shocking lack of understanding here about what literary fiction spans and that literary-style genre fiction has taken off like crazy among indies, Amazon has developed better categories for literary subgenres, and literary fiction is read, loved, and selling well, even when it’s not labeled as what it is: literary.

  7. Perhaps you’ll get a good number of readers and even earn some money that way, but call yourself a “writer” in the hearing of the guardians of literary fiction and most of them will quietly sneer.

    I’ve been on the receiving end of the sneer lately, and most of it not done quietly.

    I found it pretty easy to ignore, though. My sales and reviews mean I’m pleasing my fans. No one else matters.

  8. Literary fiction writers have a problem. They write well, and their prose flows like honey, but for most readers their books are boring. If it wouldn’t be for the “Literary Institution” part of which are the Legacy Publishers and publish their books their writing may have never see the light of press. They would have had to use Vanity Publishing.
    In the end they will have to join the rest of us and self-publish. The Legacy Publishers cannot afford to publish poorly selling books. Of course they will continue to be an elitist group. I wouldn’t be surprised if they will not form a guild and display the guild’s insignia on the books to assure that the books have past the stringent review for quality and guide the serious readers to buy these serious books.

    • Some of them aren’t boring. But you have to know how to read them. Just like you have to know how to read a romance novel or a hard SF novel or appreciate fine chocolate or a tailored suit.

      • I’m curious, what does that mean that you have to know how to read them?

        • I’d venture – don’t expect a happy end, savor the language, ponder on the frailty of human existence and the ephemeral qualities of joy and goodness…

          Personally, I like my reads a bit more rollicking and emotionally uplifting than the average litfic.

          • More like, it helps to have exposure to the ongoing conversation that the novel is having with other works in the field. Again, the same is true for some genre fiction.

      • I confess to a suspicious belief that all suits – whether tailored or not – result in men looking like a bunch of penguins when gathered together…



      • I have never found that any of the things that you mention are things that you can learn how to do. Either you do or you don’t. If you do, you can learn about them which may increase your appreciation more, but if you don’t like chocolate, you don’t like chocolate.

        That being said, you can learn why they’re worthwhile even if you personally don’t like them. (The magnificent art history teacher I had in college: “Don’t say ‘I don’t know what’s art, but I know what I like.’ I’ll flunk you. When I’m done with you you may or may not like it but you’ll know if it’s art.'”) That may be what you meant, if so apologies. But just knowing why something you dislike is art *cough*JamesJoyce*cough* doesn’t mean you’re going to read it to improve yourself. People who will do that are vanishingly rare.

  9. Literary fiction is like advanced math – a fairly small subset of the population truly enjoys and appreciates it, a somewhat larger subset appreciates it, but doesn’t enjoy it, and the majority could care less or is actively repulsed by it.

    • This comment brought me out of the woodwork to cackle in amusement (and agreement) Just slogged through The GoldFinch. at least a hundred, maybe two hunded, pages should have been cut to make it a truly great book. WHere was the editor? asleep at the wheel while Donna committed repetition in pretty words.

  10. Contemporary “Literary” fiction is a creation of the literary establishment. The “literary” label can only by confered by external authority and without it the story is “just” another bit of genre fiction or, if it doesn’t fit in any commercial genre or mix, it is “just” general fiction.

    Identifying commercial genre fiction is relatively easy because they are built around generally established guidelines and anybody who follows them can claim the appropriate label. Litfic, on the other hand, has no generally accepted unique qualifier other than acclaim by establishment critics.

    As long as the establishment refuses to even acknowledge, much less acclaim, self-published fiction there is no point to self-publishing for aspiring litfic writers since the act of self-publishing will deny them the validation they need.

    Litfic is a country club; you can be voted in but you can’t vote yourself a member.

    As a reader who prefers the genres–any genre or mix–I rather like that litfic is by definition gatekept. Less of it makes it easier to avoid. 😉

    • “Contemporary “Literary” fiction is a creation of the literary establishment. The “literary” label can only by confered by external authority and without it the story is “just” another bit of genre fiction,”.


      By every appearance of “literary importance” that I’ve ever seen, a book stops being just another book and become important fiction when one or all three of the following occur; a prestigious award is given, critics from high-brow review land anoint it or when the academic lit world endorses it. There could be other criteria but those three strike me as the most prominent.

      And with those three communities very firmly and defiantly entrenched in Legacy World, for the foreseeable future if not until the very demise of Legacy World itself, I don’t see the moniker of “Important Fiction” being given to anything self-published anytime soon. If ever.

      Unless, of course, that recognition of importance comes from readers! But what do those plebeian, unenlightened peasants know?

      • I would add, that genre fiction that is commercially successful for a long enough period of time will be appropriated by lit-fic gatekeepers and elevated into that realm. I would use Dickens, Conan-Doyle, Poe and Chandler as examples of this. Many more could be found.

        • Dickens: self-published, died rich.
          Austen: ripped off by a series of publishers, died in genteel poverty.

          Some things never change.

  11. I definitely agree with everyone’s comments here.

    I tried getting published with literary fiction but considering I write genre/quirky fiction, it was a no go.

    Even had lots of (free) subscriptions to literary journals, but after making a three attempt at reading them, I gave up. It got to the point where the formula was so cookie-cutter than you could take about two dozen stories, slap two dozen different covers on them for anthologies, and presto! you have multi-colored book ends.

  12. I am a self-publishing non-genre fiction writer. Sometimes the only category that fits in Amazon is in Lit Fic. (Fortunately, there are now more categories than there used to be.) It’s disheartening to see all literary fiction painted with the same brush of boredom and snobbery.

    • Personally, I have seen as many sneering at literary fiction as those sneering at genre. It dismays me because the science fiction I love has often been MOSTLY literary fiction excepting the action/adventure subcategory. To say nothing of tons of quality literary writers I adore (who also are mostly female). And not all literary fiction is acclaimed either. It’s just as broad and expansive and crossed over a genre as any other.

      L’Engle and LeGuin write literary fiction. Take the same approach to fiction, minus the SF elements and guess what, it’s literary. A lot of the bestselling YA books that aren’t dystopian are literary. There are so many good books in this genre, I hate to see it hated on.

  13. [I] other people, working in other genres, it looks like a reasonable option: but to someone who expects to be reviewed in the LRB or the TLS and the daily ‘heavies’, self-publication is an up-front admission that nobody who matters thought your stuff was good enough to publish.[/I]

    I’d say self-publishing is a statement that nobody really matters. That the danger for them.

    • Or a statement that critics don’t matter: only audience. If your only audience is critics and the critics can no longer create additional audience, well… that’s not so good. How many litcrit reviewers are there in the world, and do any of them actually expect to ever *pay* for a book?

  14. I am laughing all the way to the bank.

  15. The whole “literary” label strikes me as pretentious and condescending.
    Literature is to me transcendent fiction that has stood the test of time and branding as literary a new release that has done nothing more than appeal to a glass tower “editor” and a few establishment reviewers is hardly enough qualification to claim literary merit.

    L’Engle and LeGuin both have two generations of general acclaim behind them so they are worthy of the label but so are plenty of other genre authors who are routinely deprecated by the establishment. Too often the literary fiction label is applied to good genre fiction to segregate them from their native genres and maintain the pretense that genre fiction is inherently inferior unless the ivory tower types sign off on it.

    As a cross-genre reader, I find such posturing condescending and snotty and worthy of disdain.

    Literary merit is in the eyes of the readers and what is and isn’t literary in today’s fiction is up to the future to decide, not the author or the publisher or a handful of reviewers.

    • No. LeGuin started in literary and refused to stop being literary when she got into straight SF. Literary is a genre not a label, and I agree wholly with her in opposing the denigration of literary and the idea that literary should mean depressing.

      • Uh, looking at LeGuin’s bibliography, she had one orsinian tale in 1959, and a few poems and shorts strung here and there in academic circles. Her education and background is literary, yes. But her career as a writer is unquestionably SF and Fantasy.
        Her career as an author began with ROCCANON’S WORLD and was established with LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS and LATHE OF HEAVEN.

        The literary establishment may deem her works too good to be SF and fantasy but her career says otherwise.


        “From 1951-1961, Le Guin wrote five novels, which publishers rejected because they seemed inaccessible.[10] She also wrote poetry during this time, including Wild Angels (1975).[10]
        Her earliest writings, some of which she adapted in Orsinian Tales and Malafrena, were non-fantastic stories of imaginary countries. Searching for a way to express her interests, she returned to her early interest in science fiction; in the early 1960s her work began to be published regularly. (One Orsinian Tale was published in the Summer 1961 issue of The Western Humanities Review and three of her stories appeared in 1962 and 1963 numbers of Fantastic Stories of Imagination, a monthly edited by Cele Goldsmith. Goldsmith also edited Amazing Stories, which ran two of Le Guin’s stories in 1964, including the first “Hainish” story.)[13][14]
        She received wide recognition for her novel The Left Hand of Darkness, which won the Hugo and Nebula awards in 1970. Her subsequent novel The Dispossessed made her the first person to win both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novel twice for the same two books.[15]

        • I am not going to go through the work of looking up her essay about it online (it’s on her blog, have fun if you care) or to cite which issue of the ten-year backlog of Writer’s Digest I possess it’s in, but SHE said she came out of literary and took great issue with the idea of being pigeonholed. SHE said her work was just a little too fantastic for literary (they didn’t like her), then she teetered straight over the line into SFF and they welcomed her with open arms. Her author’s notes on the ones who walked away from Omelas (no quotes, I’m sure I got that title wrong) addressed thoroughly the issue she took with literary circles thinking depressing meant literary and described her opinion of quality literature. I couldn’t care less what others state about her genres: she said it well herself and if you read her own book on writing, Steering the Craft, you’ll see how strong it is on literary genre and techniques. It’s also the first craft book I thoroughly agreed with as I’m interested in literary too, just SFF-ized if possible.

          And when did I say her career was in literary? I said she STARTED in literary, which is what she said. She writes literary SFF and stuck to that for the majority of her fiction.

  16. no matter the genre including lit fic, too many words, not enough story… is doom

  17. As far as I know, lit fic can span all genres. Any book can be considered of literary value if it explores any of the following themes: gender, sex, sexuality, history, society, psychology or politics. There are probably a few more themes I’m forgetting.

    Bram Stoker’s Dracula was popular fiction. In fact, to the Victorian’s, it was top-shelf porn, the Fifty Shades of the day. But now, it’s lit fic and taught in higher education to the next generation of literary critics. If you asked the Victorian lit critics to comment on Dracula, they’d have scoffed at every sentence.

    Horace Walpole self-published his lit fic. His indie publishing house was called Strawberry Hill, and he used it to create a genre. We call that genre ‘Gothic fiction’, which stemmed the birth of all the horror and paranormal fiction that we have today. Yep, it was an indie author who made that. (Well, unless you count The Monk, the German Gothic novel that was actually the first Gothic novel. Walpole wrote the first English Gothic novel, but it did create the genre.)

    Literary snobbery makes me laugh because the people banging on about it don’t even understand what literary fiction is, but I’m sure they have very nice shelves of books they’ve never read.

    Lit fic can be exciting to read. It can be popular fiction, and it can be genre fiction. In fact, many of the great lit fics were genre fiction first.

    Lit fic is any story that has underlying themes, which can be interpreted for a deeper meaning. Literary fiction is interpreted by critics, but also by scholars, readers and anyone who can open a book.

    I’d say it was a safe bet that in the future there will be some highly successful indie authors who will join the famed literary authors of tomorrow in the history books for creating genres, changing the face of publishing, maybe even changing the world, and no amount of snobbery is going to change that.

    Stories are living things, which evolve and take on a life of their own. Every time someone new reads a book, the story changes. All it takes for a book to become literary is for someone see underlying themes in the story, to find something hidden inside it.

    And, most importantly, many authors don’t write lit fic on purpose. The themes are often hidden from the author too. Any book can be lit fic. Your book could be lit fic, but you just haven’t seen the themes yet.

    There’s a wonderful idiocy in literary snobbery. It seems that the only people who don’t understand literature are the literary snobs.

    If you purposefully write a literary novel, you are not trying to make money. You are trying to highlight something important. In that case, you would want as many people to read it as possible. The existence of the book is the point of writing it, not monetary gain, which begs the question of why these lit authors feel the need for some kind of gatekeeper approval. An unpublished book has no readers, and a lit author traditionally writes to record events, improve society or highlight the wrongs in the world.

    Literary authors don’t follow. They lead. It makes me wonder what kind of lit fic these ones write if they need gatekeeper approval before publishing it.

    That being said, I don’t write lit fic, so perhaps it is a genre that requires approval now. If it does, I can’t imagine that gatekeeper censorship is going to improve the future of literature since every great literary novel would be tossed out for not conforming.

    • As far as I know, lit fic can span all genres. Any book can be considered of literary value if it explores any of the following themes: gender, sex, sexuality, history, society, psychology or politics.

      This is a category mistake. ‘Literary fiction’ does not mean ‘fiction of literary value’. It is a marketing term specifically designed to exclude all genre fiction, including mainstream popular fiction, just as ‘art films’ exclude everything that grosses too well. If the general public likes it – which means, generally, if it tells a compelling story in language that requires no special inside knowledge to decode – then it is, ipso facto, not ‘literary fiction’, no matter how good it may be as literature. The category is defined not by what it has in common, but by a long laundry list of things that it must not include.

  18. To note, when I wrote the article, I (and the commenters whom I quoted) was using “literary fiction” in the same way that the writer of the Guardian article on which it was based used it: the based-on-life-in-the-real-world genre that used also to be referred to as “mainstream” before it became apparent it was actually anything but mainstream in taste. Certainly works from any genre can have literary merit, but they aren’t all “literary fiction” in that particular sense.

    • That was also the definition I was using, with the added caveat of literary crossovers (with other genres) wherein the story is treated with the consequences and messiness of real life, as has been well-established as the cross-genre aspect taken from literary when merging with other genres.

  19. I’m told I write literary fiction – of a sort. I hope it isn’t boring. But really, I try to avoid labels. I also self publish a lot of what I write. But not all. I’m currently working with an excellent publisher as well. I can’t see anything wrong with this. Horses for courses as they say and nobody’s business but mine what I choose to do with individual pieces of my own work. That’s what the new freedoms mean for me. It’s true that some members of the literary establishment believe that they are a ‘cut above’ others. In fact one of my ex agents told me that my books were far too well written to be really popular but not experimental enough and too accessible to be really literary which fairly took my breath away in the implied insult to a whole spectrum of readers! And yes, I’ve noticed a certain dismay bordering on resentment in a handful of ‘literary’ writers at the notion that my most recent novel should have been published by a well regarded small publisher when I was also (horrors!) self publishing. This afforded me a certain amusement and continues to do so. I’ve also been asked whether it’s possible for fiction to be both literary and historical. But really, this is not an argument worth having and by sneering at literary fiction just as the handful of literary snobs sneer at genre fiction, aren’t we behaving just as misguidedly as the establishment we are trying to change? Why can’t we simply accept that we are part of a vast sea of wonderful words, and that we can now write and read what we want to, without people feeling the need to denigrate each other’s choices?

    • …by sneering at literary fiction just as the handful of literary snobs sneer at genre fiction, aren’t we behaving just as misguidedly as the establishment we are trying to change? Why can’t we simply accept that we are part of a vast sea of wonderful words, and that we can now write and read what we want to, without people feeling the need to denigrate each other’s choices?

      Thank you.

      I find that I’m not even close to alone in being one of many who love both genre and literary. In fandom, it’s shocking how much of it is putting the literary into genre. I love it all. I love all the rich legacies that have come down to me as a reader and I love engaging with the good fiction within it. And what’s wrong with that?

    • Well said Catherine 🙂

    • But really, this is not an argument worth having and by sneering at literary fiction just as the handful of literary snobs sneer at genre fiction, aren’t we behaving just as misguidedly as the establishment we are trying to change? Why can’t we simply accept that we are part of a vast sea of wonderful words, and that we can now write and read what we want to, without people feeling the need to denigrate each other’s choices?

      Indeed, and thank you for saying it. I find it entertaining that the only authors I ever see sneering at anybody else are genre authors who sneer at literary authors, ostensibly because literary authors obviously always sneer at genre. “Literary authors are d-bag snobs who make broad judgments of other genres and paint other authors with the same, inferior brush. It is known, Khaleesi.”


  20. Uh, hi. We’re right here. We are self-publishing.

    It’s the literary-fiction readers who are a little behind the times in adopting indie authors into their usual reading material, but I have no doubt that they will get onboard eventually, and then we’ll take all the money (what little there is) from that sector of publishing, too.

    It’s only a matter of time.

    Meanwhile, we’re doing what literary authors have always done, since time immemorial, because nobody can make a living writing lit fic, trad-pubbed or self-pubbed: we’re also writing genre fiction. Or we’re getting creative writing teaching gigs, if we really want to feel self-important. But most of us are also writing genre fic under other pen names.


    (Yeah, that’s right, all you genre authors who love to take jabs at how snobby and self-satisfied literary authors supposedly are. WE ARE AMONG YOU. We always have been. Who’s the snob now, son?!)

  21. I’m seeing a lot of disagreement about what literary fiction IS, whether it’s just novels that deal with serious subjects (in which case all of my romance novels would qualify), or novels that meet with critical acclaim, or novels that stand the test of time (in which case there can be no such thing as a new release in literary fiction).

    While literary fiction likes to contrast itself with genre fiction, I actually see it as a genre of its own, with some clear requirements:

    1. Emphasis on the language and presentation of the story, sometimes flouting standard conventions.

    2. A tragic or inconclusive ending.

    I have a friend who loves literary fiction, and when she raves about a book, she doesn’t talk about its plot or themes or characters. Instead, she quotes a line or a paragraph that she thought was particularly beautiful. It’s all about the use of language for her, and not about the story.

    • A tragic or inconclusive ending

      It’s more that it must have a “real-life” ending. It can’t be glossed. Literary fiction is about real life in a real life, messy portrayal. It uses elevated language. It is typically ABOUT the character arc not the story arc, though it may certainly have both. I have read literary fiction with a happy ending, but it’s never a happily ever after ending. It’s always a real-life type of happiness with all the caveats that entails.

  22. The definition of literary fiction has long been and remains a mystery to me, though Robert Olen Butler (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9A3VbCI3ns) defines as ‘literary’ that which ‘comes from where you dream.’ That’s a tough definition to teach in Eng. Comp 101. You are uncertain whither thou goeth when you begin the journey of writing a book; Literary fiction is an object of the senses and not of the mind. When you encounter a literary work, you are not meant to understand; you are meant to feel. “Good Scent from a Strange Mountain” is a collection of stories which engage at all levels. “Fair Warning’ touches me not all; his Christopher Marlowe Cobb series, well…they are getting better and better. What!? He’s still taking chances at seventy or so years old? To write genre fiction is to begin with an objective; horror fiction is to scare the daylights out of you; romance to assure the reader that justice in love triumphs (or should have anyway). Flaubert wrote ‘Madame Bovary,’ then pot-boiler romances, exhausted by the creative effort (and syphilis too, if you insist). Tolstoi wrote ‘Anna Karenina,’ but also “Kreuzer Sonata.’ It is the work more than the author; it is the intention rather than the result. Pushkin (the scoundrel) is reported to have said reference ‘Eugene Onegin’ “That Tatiana, I never thought she’d marry that old prince!”

    • But The Fault in Our Stars was literary. All of Jodi Picoult’s books are literary. They aren’t just about feelings, but rather moral, ethical, and emotional dilemmas and achieving some sort of resonance and understanding in the end. Literary fiction IS meant to be understood.

      Literary fiction is meant to explore and reach for understanding rather than being shaped around a particular overcoming. It’s bringing understanding to the mess of life instead of a safe resolution from the mess of a story conflict. It’s like poetry in that way.

      • If that’s literary fiction you can have it. Life’s too short to cry through the ending of anything. It’s one thing if a book sneaks up on you and has sad parts but to purposely go into it knowing it’s going to be sad…again, no thanks.

        I want to be lost in the woods with the elves and shifters and anything else that goes bump in the night. I want love and happiness and Yea, I want a happily ever after.

        • It’s not all tragedy and sad endings. If you don’t like it, fine, but not cause for bashing. A lot of people don’t understand what it is though and bash what they think it is.

          • Where did I bash it? I said it wasn’t what I wanted and that you can have it. Just because I don’t like it doesn’t give it value to others, I understand that but again, not my thing.

            Not for love or money would I read Fault in our Stars. Glad you liked it. Every book, every genre even lit fic is not for everyone.

            • I didn’t read The Fault in Our Stars and I didn’t say that you had bashed, but rather there was bashing going on of what people thought literary fiction is. The comment I initially made was not to you and I responded both to you and to the general thread of conversation my original comment was about.

              Apologize if that was unclear, but since you joined in a thread not directed at you, my response included how your ideas fit with the thread I was originally addressing.

              Note: I did not say you bashed. I said bashing in general.

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