originally published on 11/9/2009 DH: A list recently published in The New York Times by a noted…
I wonder if my route out of publishing may end up being more interesting, or at least more telling, than my route in. There are forces at work in the industry that apparently cannot appreciate the importance of bibliodiversity and seem to want nothing more than to homologize, incorporate, consolidate, iron out any bumps and rough spots. Diversity is as necessary to the book industry as it is to any ecosystem, which is something these mindless forces will not, or cannot understand.
You’re right that editing is just the first level of hell. Getting published can be a nightmare and then you have to worry about how you’ll be received or if you’ll just be ignored. The whole process is pretty miserable, which makes me think that novel writing is for masochists. That old stereotype of the depressed, alcoholic, volatile writer persists for a reason. Even Zadie Smith has said that she can’t read her old novels without dying inside.
The Guys are launching a new guest post series featuring our friends the indie presses. It’s called Why We Love What We do. It features publishers and editors talking about what gives their house its own special spin. We’re aiming for the pubs’ history, approach to publishing, title selection philosophy, plans for new projects and celebrations of favorite books published. We’re also hoping that the publishers and editors that are at the frontiers of the indie market will tell us something about themselves as book lovers and as a community of INDEPENDENT minds. How does the terrain of the indie book wilderness scope out from the lookout point of their offices?