Richard Ford once said that it takes as much effort to produce a bad book as a good book.
And as disheartening as that sounds, what Ford’s assertion might raise, and what most everyone who has attempted the task of a book-length work already knows, is the notion that effort alone does not ensure a book’s success, and that there are probably more ways for a good book to be overlooked than a bad book to never make it into print.
That said, what constitutes a bad book? Is it an overrated “good” book? Can an otherwise good author produce a “bad” book? Is the badness in style, in execution? Or is it in theme or outlook?
In the spirit of such focuses as "100 Best Last Lines of Novels," "Why Teach Creative Writing?" and the most recent "Fiction’s Future," American Book Review seeks entries for consideration in an upcoming “Bad Books” focus. Whether it’s a novel, memoir, collection of poems, how-to or self-help book, select a book that you think belongs on the “Bad Books” list and accompany it with a 250-word essay illustrating just what’s bad about it.
Submissions are due by Nov. 1, 2009
Word count: 250 words
American Book Review
School of Arts & Sciences
University of Houston-Victoria
3007 N. Ben Wilson
Victoria, TX 77901