Friday, August 31, 2007

Can Publishing Be Better?

A little while back Literary Rejections on Display had some interesting stuff going on in the comments . A commenter who works in publishing wrote: "The publishing world is as good as it can be."

As someone who lived for ten years mostly off the fat of publishing-land, I'm not going to complain too loudly about it. But let me draw your attention to Exhibit A: The OJ Book.

Rejecting that book would have been a good first step toward rehabilitating the industry.


5 Red Pandas said...

I'm of the belief that most institutions could stand some improvement. Just as writers shouldn't take rejections personally (unless those rejections are done in a malicious and personal way), the publishing industry shouldn't take criticisms of the industry as a personal attack, but rather as a reminder that it's always good to take a step back and try to see what is working, and what isn't.

I've discussed this need to do some difficult, but honest, self-evaluation as a teacher and as a writer. Without that kind of scrutiny you usually don't improve.

It's when you think that you don't have anything else to learn that you begin to ossify and become obsolete and irrelevant.

Pete said...

An execrably immoral piece of writing, to be sure, but at least OJ won't make a dime off of it. The Goldman family gave the book its blessing.

As for rejections, I've found a surefire cure: stop worrying about getting published anywhere and everywhere, submit to just a few select venues, and laugh it off when the rejections arrive. Write for yourself first, and don't worry about getting validation from some overworked and underpaid editor. If the act of writing makes you happy, then that's all that really matters.