Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Times They Are A-Changin'

          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.


  1. Hey! F. Scott & Zelda are both alive and jivin' well within my dancing mind -- As for the blowhards thee do entertainingly rant about -- Well, that other guy who's not (physically) around so much, Willy, said ~ "Me thinks you doth protest too much." No, no, not you, oh guided in wisdom of our times, Mr Michaels -- but those shouting about for only paper books and all those felled trees -- we DO hear them when their forests fall.

    So, on to e-books and multi-books and writing and zen and reaching and communications we are becoming just lightly aware of the more. A very exciting and expanding time to be an author ... publishing forth and promoting worth. What's that?

    Just heard from my inner Fitzgerald: "Alas, April is over. April is over. There are all kinds of love {substitute ways-to-publish} and never the same love twice. Successes . . . They're out there.

    Watch -- come September -- for THE ESPRESSO CAFE -- for "Author! Author! Marketing!" in a most distinctive global way -- why -- a fave marketeer and renowned author I know shall be a leading voice -- (enough said)

    Great posting with the mosting Kevin

    Circle me on google+, will'ya?
    ~ Absolutely*Kate
    Believing in Believers

  2. Great commentary and wonderfully said by one of those talented writers we seldom hear much about. :D

  3. Gosh, I'm so behind. I haven't even read Snookie's first book.

  4. I'm with you, Kevin. It's time we get out there and stop waiting for someone to decide our fate.

    Jeanette Cheezum

  5. Well said... You know what, though? In a weird way ... What we all are doing on Kindle does kind of feel a little like Paris in the 20s with Zelda and Scott ...

  6. Thanks all for your comments - and Ant, I totally agree that we are on the cusp of something new and exciting (the killer for me is that "snobby" attitude that any of us who chose that indie route are somehow less in our abilities.....).