Thursday, June 16, 2011
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
This is a complex issue with many layers. The gatekeepers are going away. This means some really good writers are finally going to find their way without the hindrance from a suit in New York who doesn't like vampire books, so goodbye dreams. Unfortunately, this also means that every shmoe with a laptop is now writing a novel and posting it on Smashwords because, after all, the gatekeepers are gone. Is this intrinsically a bad thing? No. Readers will find the good stuff, just like they find the good music without ever hearing it on the radio. The most common way will be word of mouth, which is always the most powerful method.
The reason I believe this isn't a bad thing is because of my experience within the publishing world when the gatekeepers were still taking three martini lunches. After one publisher told me how much he liked my Nick Bracco novel, he then admitted how much he despises mafia books and if The Godfather were offered to him, he'd have turned it down immediately. Really?
Okay, you say, that's just one guy. But therein lies the problem. With all the consolidation within the publishing world, there's only 5 or 6 big publishers left anymore. What if four of them don't like mafia books? You mean your chance of bringing your award-winning novel to the masses depends on the approval of maybe three or four people in a high rise in Manhattan? Good luck with that.
So where do we go from here? Up. Where? Up. That's right, we move up the evolutionary ladder to a new system where the reader gets to decide what's good and what's not. Will it be difficult at times to sort things out? Sure. But eventually the readers will have their say good or bad. I wouldn't want it any other way. Let me decide what I like. After all, I'm a reader too.