Thursday, March 15, 2012

99 problems but a book ain't one

Several days too late, here are my real thoughts on the Radio 4 "midlist author" thing and why it is hard to keep publishers interested in an author who has not "broken out". Maybe I should have said these at the time but they just didn't occur to me. I've had other stuff on my mind of late and wasn't able to donate much headspace to the business of publishing.
  1. High Street bookshops are mostly full of shite.
  2. Mainstream publishers are responsible for that shite.
  3. Mainstream publishers publish the shite because it sells.
  4. The shite sells because it is what the book-buying public is offered and encouraged to read.
  5. The above fills me with despair.
  6. Rather than be filled with despair I wrote a bunch of books that are the kind of thing I would like to read.
  7. I reckon there are others who like to read this stuff too. In fact, I know there are. They told me.
  8. But perhaps there aren't very many of them.
  9. There are also people out there who really, really do not dig my books.
  10. Maybe it's because they don't like the truth.
  11. Whatever, I don't care. As long as #7 is the case then I will fight to keep on getting my books published.
  12. I don't want to self-publish because I recognise the expertise and talents of publishers. I'm good at the writing, they're good at the publishing. Farmers grow wheat, bakers bake bread.
  13. As a writer I have no awareness of "mainstream". I write what I write and all that concerns me is whether it is good or not.
  14. Nor do I care about genre.
  15. Genre and mainstream are very important words in the book trade.
  16. This may explain why there are not very many of #7 above.
  17. For books like mine, word of mouth is vital.
  18. I have no mouth and I must scream.
  19. The above statement is untrue - I just couldn't resist saying it. It is the title of a short story by Harlan Ellison.
  20. Can you find Harlan Ellison in high street bookshops? Can you fuck.


Ticktock Man said...

Well played sir.
Well played.
And I dug the Harlan Ellison reference. I used to sing his praises incessantly. So much so my friends used to call me Ticktock Man.


Charlie Williams said...

Thank you Ticktock Man. Free the Mangel One indeed. But can he ever be properly free? Can any of us be free, living in your tyrannical shadow?