Thursday, January 17, 2008

Write and Be Damned

I cannot tell you the number of successful and even bestselling authors who have told me recently that their latest books have been turned down by their publishers. It is a worrying trend. This was the crux of my key-note speech at a conference in Toronto before Christmas. The publishing industry grows more corporate and rapacious by the day. Also more inefficient and economically insane. I truly believe that the average writer is paying for all those giant mega-deals and mega-publicity payouts for the wannabe Rowlings (wannabe on the part of the publisher, I mean). The Rowling phenomenon cannot be repeated, yet, like addicted gamblers at Las Vegas, the publishers keep trying to create "the next big thing". The end result? Just like those addicted gamblers, they are damaging everyone's livelihoods and the book trade itself. For those of us who still believe in the art of writing, as opposed to flogging our dreams in the marketplace, there can be only one defence. We must stay true to ourselves and the stories that are whispered to our souls.

11 comments:

American Genius said...

It's just like the lyrics to the song society. So much greed

sandi said...

Well said!
It's sad to think that there are fantastic books not being published because of this.

OR Melling said...

Humanity, eh? You're doing incredible work, Shea. I've bookmarked your blogs to go back in more detail after I finish my latest deadline. The blue portraits are stunning. And love your myspace Sandi!

Anonymous said...

aye lass, verily it be true as ye said.
big dog

OR Melling said...

Hey, big dog, get writin' dem stories yourself, bye.

Susan said...

God, so true. The whole industry is giving me an ulcer. I am,however, glad to know it's not just me seeing changes.

Your website is a thing of beauty and, speaking of greed, I have clutched in my greedy hands two of your books. I can't wait to read them. I've got a little stack of books I must get through (duty calls) and then I will retreat to the land of faerie! Can't wait.

OR Melling said...

Hey, it's you! Hope you like the books. Meant to write and tell you how much I loved yours - things hectic - and I'll be on to Miss Smithers as soon as I finish Murakami (not what you call a quick read). Your rare bird site is brillo too. It shows up oddly when you click direct from blogger, though. You don't get all the gorgeous graphics.

OR Melling said...

PS You should link to your site from your blogger location. Bloggers click on comments and find ya.

OR Melling said...

PPS God, I can't believe it. I am telling you what to do. And in public! It's this mothering thing I have. Got to do something about it.

Susan said...

I don't mind a bit of mothering, especially if it comes with some detailed instructions. I don't know how to do this linking thing you speak of. I know. Lame.

Glad you like Miss S. Good old Alice. I miss her.

Ewww! The cream in this morning's coffee's a bit off. It will be interesting to see how it influences the development of my story. Perhaps everyone will become very bitter and acid- tongued... You didn't need to know this. It doesn't need to be public.

OR Melling said...

Oops, too late. It's gone live. Here's how I do the linking thing: I ask my webmaster to look after it. He knows what he's doing.