Saturday, June 04, 2005

The Gerbil Conspiracy

The web is drowning in articles about how hard it is to get published. The odds, they tell you, are about a bizillion-gazillion to one. They instill fear in prospective writers with tales of slush pile phobias, agent atrocities, and stories of how the A-List publishers are just SOOOOO busy that they couldn't possibly take the time to notice you.

This is all a lie. A great publishing conspiracy designed to keep you gerbils running on that squeaky little wheel that you call a day job. Getting published is easy, and if you don’t believe me, walk into any bookstore. Inside, you will find a mountain of books; some good, some bad, and some that are, well, ...pathetic.

These stores are like an insatiable Pac-man monster, screaming "FEED ME SEAMORE!" They need new titles every day, and they will take anything that the average Joe will buy.

It don't have to be good, it just has to sell.

The behemoth that is the publishing industry exists solely to feed the giant yellow gobbler, in spite of what the highbrows would have you think.

So take heart Joe. The public is not screaming for Tolstoy. They have no interest in the philisophical musings of the Harvard MFA's. All they really want is to spend a few hard-earned bucks for a chance to escape from the drone of the squeaky wheel for a while.

Any Walter Mitty can do that.

2 comments:

HawkOwl said...

I think it was Edwin Silberstang who wrote that as bad as the stuff in bookstores is, it's still the cream of the crop of the submission that publishers receive. The stuff that doesn't get published is even worse. And even something much worse than what's in bookstores is pretty darn hard to write. Just getting a plot to run 400 pages is hard, let alone writing it out with some flow and authenticity.

I don't know whether getting published is hard or easy once you've written something worth publishing. Writing something worth publishing is the hard part.

Kelley Bell said...

Amen to that!