Buzzword Books - unusual, intriguing, intelligent, perceptive

Here, you'll find musings from our authors and staff. We don't promise daily updates. Just posts worth your time.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

The Writing Scam

To kick off the vestigial Buzzword Blog, we asked commissioning editor D. S. Mills to pen us a some kind of rave. Here is the result:

Who knows what happens when you start an on-line publishing company? Possibly little or nothing. But, for authors, the advantage is freedom, often from creeping stupidity.
For instance, several of our writers have received rave reviews from major print publishers and further accolades from leading international literary agents. Did publishers shower them with roses? No.
It brings to mind the old saying: 'Enough of your compliments. More of your purse!' So what is happening in the land of cash and carry literature? The advent of the internet and building sales for eBooks, have seen the always impossibly difficult process of having a book accepted revert to snowflake-in-hell status, even for some established writers.
What is going on?
As we entered this post-literate age , publishers found their margins increasingly squeezed. Soon editorial staff were mortified to find the sales manager and accountants assuming editorial decisions based on promotional possibilities. With the bean counters and salesmen resurgent, the list narrowed to the usually unsuccessful 'sure things'.
Then the uneasy balance between art and commerce, that had remained half decent in the established houses, tipped completely toward the bottom line.
One casualty was the slush pile. The large trade houses got rid of it and even many of the independents refused to see unagented submissions. This meant that literary agents became the sifters, the quasi editorial staffers.
Then writers found agents even harder to acquire than publishers. But did this deter the industry that hangs off the ditsy lust for publication?