In politics they have a saying, "It's the economy stupid!" For we consumers, it's always about the economy. Without a strong economy, I can't buy your book. So yeah, it is the economy stupid.
Fortunately I have been able to buy a few books lately, popular, commercial fiction, New York Times bestsellers. And may I say in my humble opinion, most of them are badly; and I do mean badly written. I have been disappointed that in this tough economy I spent good money on bad books. But I also have been enlightened, something money can't buy.
How do they do it, these authors who are not writers. How do they sell a gazzillion books and help write the screenplay for the blockbuster movie when they can't properly construct a sentence? And how dare an editor throw my properly written story onto the slush pile in favor of someone who doesn't know an adverb from their elbow?
I tell you how they dare. Cause it's all about the story, stupid.
These authors who are not writers, these interlopers who flew over us on the wings of our own shoulder vultures and landed safely in their editors arms are not to be hated. We should not despise their easy rise to the top; although sometimes that is almost impossible. We should learn from them the one thing that seperates us from them. Story.
"Tell me a story."
In the end, after all of your plotting and planning, grammar checks and revisions, if you don't have a great story, you got nothin' to say.