Originality Be Damned

Posted by Anthony North on January 17, 2011

It disgusts me to have to say this, but if you want to write original material, you’re wasting good stamps sending it to a major publisher. Apart from the fact that it’s impossible to get your manuscript through the machine, originality is out of style.
Once upon a time publishers were at the cutting edge of innovation and originality, always on the look out for something new. A rich culture was the result, running parallel with a healthy publishing industry based on ideas.
Most of those publishers have now been swallowed up by the big money men, and a once proud industry has been reduced to accountancy. New ideas may be failures and that is bad for the bank balance.
Gone are the days when a publisher would nurture a writer through two, maybe three, market failures, safe in the knowledge that, if the third or fourth was a success, the others would follow through. Now, formula novels are the only likely way of getting into print.
This situation will change eventually. One day, small presses will break through their anonymity and hit the reading public with a new style of publishing and writing. But until then, the second oldest profession is the only way to the top.

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6 Comments

  1. Mike Difeo said on February 24, 2011

    Very interesting, and I may say “quite true.” I’m published, finishing third book. Unfortunately I got tied up with a vanity house publisher… Yes, at least I can say I’m published and since first book I have leave to write, not better, I mean to really write… Thanks
    mr mike

  2. Anthony North said on February 24, 2011

    Hi Mike, I had a couple of books published myself many years ago, as wanted by the publisher. It was the only time I can recall writing being work.

  3. tom alex said on July 24, 2011

    It’s all about creating your own publishing house. I don’t have the means (or is that “meens”?). Do you, Mike? If so, I have something that you would like–considering what I’ve read of yours, called “Agony of God.”

  4. tom alex said on July 24, 2011

    PS Imagine Heinlein and Asimov not battling it out with Campbell (pretty much a moron), editor of Amazing Stories! Sci-fi would barely exist. It’s worth the fight with publishers.

  5. David King said on August 3, 2011

    You say what I long suspected. Sad.

  6. Anthony North said on August 3, 2011

    Hi David, yes, it’s terrible and a crime against culture.

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