It’s not often that I rant twice within one week, but….earlier this month Eric Felton wrote an article in the WSJ bemoaning the increase of indie writers flooding the market and how all the really good authors will have their books buried under mountains of shit – how it’s only through the skills, expertise, and visionary abilities of traditional publishers that the reading public is even able to find quality books and literature. In essence, publishers are the only true and righteous gatekeepers to the literary realm and without their guidance we would be lost.
Any validity in that argument was blown out of the water yesterday when Simon & Schuster released more details about Jersey Shore literary talent Snooki’s second book. Seriously? WTF? For the people who still believe that legacy publishers care about, nurture, and promote literature (or even good writing), I believe it’s time to wake up from that dream and face the reality of the present. It’s not the 1920’s. F. Scott and Zelda and Hemingway and Gertrude Stein are all gone. Publishing is a business – plain and simple. It is all about sales units, revenues, profit margins and managing losses from books don’t sell. For most publishing houses, quality of the written word, plot, story, and character development don’t matter as much as the bottom line.
The New York Times Best-seller list and those publishing controlled book reviews are bullshit - worthless for anyone who isn’t an A-List writer. Even though the traditionalists and sycophants cannot face the facts, there’s a whole new world of opportunity out there for writers. For publishing houses it is all about holding on to the past. That movement is dead (to paraphrase a quote from UNDER SIEGE) because a movement by nature only goes a certain distance then stops. A revolution gets its name by always coming back around in your face……so welcome to the revolution.