Monday, September 3, 2012

No More Blaming the Publishing Industry



a. you seem a bit arrogant (even if you aren't)
b. if you do it publicly, you might be blacklisted (agents -- if interested -- do look at your blog and/or Twitter)
c. the complaints are just excuses covering up a bigger problem
d. you don't gain anything from it

And, the Industry has its rules for a reason.

(By the way, by Industry I mean everything from the query to the agent to the editor to the bookstore.)

The Industry doesn't just decide, "Hey, let's put a bunch of rules out there." The Industry is NOT like this. They want the next great book as much as we want to write it. But,they want it to sell. The Industry sets its 'rules' based on the trends of the public.

The Industry rules are nothing more or less than the demands of the readers.

Why, do you ask, are there word count limits? And why, do you ask, only big published authors get to break this rule? Because most readers don't see a big book and say, "Darn, I'd LOVE to spend some time with that!" They need an incentive to read this book, and a big author is an incentive.

Even JK Rowling herself isn't free from this rule! The biggest complaint I've heard of people not reading Harry Potter is that the books are too long. Now imagine if Philosopher's Stone was as big as Order of the Phoenix. It'd be tough selling that. The Readers wouldn't want that.

The Readers ARE the Industry.

Now do you see why there is no point about griping about the state of publishing? The query trenches are nothing compared to what the readers will dollop on you, no matter how great your novel is. The Industry gently (even if it doesn't feel like it) prepares you for the real world.

The Readers want a certain level of quality, and the Industry has to meet it. Frankly, I think this is a good thing, no matter how much I have to revise (and revise, and revise, and maybe revise once more). I'd rather write a good book than publish a bad one. I would hate to disappoint readers.

The Readers are the kings, the queens, and everything in between. We writers, and the Industry, try to meet their demands; how can we blame someone on the same side as us?

Think about it this way: Would you rather have the Industry reject your not-so-great book, or would you have your not-so-pretty book go all the way to the bookshelf, and then get blacklisted and scorned by readers? Would you rather publish a good book, or a bad book?

The Industry, I truly believe, wants readers to read good books. That is their goal, and just like we both care for the readers, they also care for us writers. All that's left is that we give them a good book :)

Good luck guys, and I hope I helped! Off to writing now (I hope). And Happy Labor Day!

What do you guys think? ARE the Readers the Industry?


  1. For the most part. The industry is business, and they are in business to make money.

  2. "Hey, let's put a bunch of rules out there." <----LOL!

    I agree with Alex that the industry is *such* a business, but I also believe along with you that there's a heart there that truly wants to create great books. Great post! ;)