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Why Should You Buy Caleb Crain’s Book? He Doesn’t Even Know!

Caleb Crain has “self-published” (though he doesn’t like that word, preferring to call it a “chapbook”) a collection of writings from his blog, Steamboats Are Ruining Everything. He poses the question, “All of the posts and essays included in The Wreck of the Henry Clay are available free already on this blog, so why should you buy it?” And answers, “I have no idea!”

What a refreshing response! It’s the honest answer that most booksellers should probably give when asked why anyone should buy their books. Why should you buy anything on the NYT Best Seller List, when you could borrow it from a friend? And unless you like mysteries, Stephanie Meyer, or being trendy by reading stuff by the Fight Club dude, there’s not a whole lot of compelling stuff on the list.

Maybe that’s the problem with publishing these days: there’s nothing compelling enough to buy. I, personally, am more interested in buying Caleb Crain’s book (not that I necessarily will, sadly) than anything on the NYT list. Why? Because his book is different. It’s something I haven’t seen or read before (unless I’ve read his blog, which I haven’t, so I’m all set!). It’s not a formulaic thriller. It’s not a rehashing of Twilight. It’s not a rehashing of Fight Club. It is–or I’m expecting it to be–something different. Something I want to read.

Maybe that’s what publishing should be offering, instead of more of the same–or more of what they “think” you want to read?


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One Response

  1. Caleb Crain says:

    Such a tease! Come on, buy it. You know you want to. You’re the perfect reader for it.

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