Anyone Else Feel Like We’re Assigning Homework?

January 13th, 2005 · 4 Comments
by Booksquare

It was this Reading Experience post that sparked this new journey for us, and, after you’ve read it, we highly recommend reading other recent posts because Dan Green continues to explore the idea in different ways. While we find we’re more cynical than Green about the publishing industry, his questions are excellent.

File Under: Books/Mags/Blogs

4 responses so far ↓

  • Shanna Swendson // Jan 13, 2005 at 12:18 pm

    I think that any discussion about the state of the publishing industry, how writers are paid, etc., needs to make the distinction between literary and commercial fiction. Reading between the lines, the reference to “potboiling trash” in this article and Maud Newton’s trauma about the fact that chick lit is still selling, I would guess that they’re talking about literary fiction when discussing the doom and gloom of the industry. Maybe it’s because I proudly write and read commercial fiction, but I’m getting tired of the whining by the more literary set about how little money they make. It’s the way the market works — you want to make more money, you write things that people want to read. There’s no reason to expect more money simply because you feel that your product is somehow more “worthy.” I don’t even think they have much ground for complaining about lack of promotion, given that the lion’s share of review space in most magazine’s and newspapers is devoted to literary fiction. Genre and commercial fiction is relegated to fan magazines, unless the author becomes a bestseller and makes it onto the must-review list.

  • Brenda Coulter // Jan 13, 2005 at 2:25 pm

    “…you want to make more money, you write things that people want to read.”

    Ah. Now there’s a concept.

    I, too, am tired of the whining about literary fiction not getting the sales it deserves. The literati look down their noses at people who read things like (I’m saying this just to get a rise out of Booksquare) bodice-rippers, but their disapproval doesn’t alter the fact that the masses have never been very interested in struggling to interpret Art when they might be having a jolly good time, instead.

    It has ever been thus. Art rarely makes a profit for its creators; it is thier gift to the world.

  • Lorra // Jan 13, 2005 at 4:25 pm

    If you want to know how these things work, you need look no further than the musical world. Rappers make bzillions while brilliant, highly trained classical musician seldom make enough to support a family … if they are lucky enough to find an opening in an orchestra or chamber group.

    The moral is, they make music, and we should write, because it is a calling. They can’t turn away from the light — poor bastards!

  • booksquare // Jan 20, 2005 at 10:39 pm

    Shanna — great post (and I apologize for the delay…work). I’m genre and I’m proud. Or at least I think I’m genre. Let’s just say I have a genre state of mind.

    Brenda — All is forgiven. As you can imagine, it took a few days to recover from seeing that phrase in my comments. You will have to believe me when I say I went from popping in to check out Booksquare between meetings to getting all riled up mid-meeting. I’m sure you had nothing to do with my behavior (g).

    Lorra — you’re on to something. I maintain that if I didn’t write, my head would explode. Personally, I think writing is prettier than brains on the couch, but, being a writer, that makes me wonder…what do brains on the co…yes, someone needs more sleep.