The thing is, I think that Literary fiction is not public enough. It does not have the same PR people as the genre stuff. And while I do, myself aesthetically, prefer to read literary fiction, I think there’s also a place in the world for genre fiction.
I want people to have better access to smart books. But that doesn’t mean I don’t ever want them to read genre fiction or nonfiction or silly, entertaining books full of cartoons of Bunny Suicides.
I want people to be able to access smart, literary fiction at the places at which they can access Nora Roberts’s latest: the grocery store, big box retailers.
And the opportunity exists right now, as the publishing industry is evolving by the day, to reclaim a slice of the media pie for literature, literary fiction. Smart books that presently have print runs of under 5,000, and whose authors would die for a $5,000 advance on a book, let alone the $15,000-$25,000 some genre authors get, should be more visible.
They should expect to receive royalties, and expect their book publicist’s efforts to be as rigorous as any other author’s. Because the thing is, it’s not like every literary author is inaccessible. Literary fiction has a severe PR problem. Most of it–especially the literary realism–is beautiful and smart, yes, but also fun and not especially difficult to read!