Thursday, September 02, 2010

Publishers: Vilified Daily

I should have known better than to read Paul Carr's article "A Modest Proposal for Authors Who Abandon Their Publishers - Give Me a Break." That red devil, he sucked me right in to a raging industry debate that, frankly, I'd rather stay out of. He had the nerve to not only defend traditional publishing but also say he loves his publisher. What the--?

There was a time when I thought it was a bad thing to be neutral, that it was a cop-out to say, "I'm going to wait and see before I make a judgment." But these days, extremism is king, despite its being very ugly. Unfortunately, our culture is all about venom, knee-jerk reactions, us versus them, and to hell with anybody who doesn't agree with me because I'm not listening.

Frankly, publishing does have a lot of warts, but then, frankly, there are a lot of writers who simply think their stories are more compelling than they really are. And the sad truth is that writers, editors, artists--all creative people--were long ago viewed as disposable. Instead of fighting among ourselves, we should be realizing we're all in the same big boat. If you read some of the angry comments directed at Carr's piece (and Carr himself), you might think some of those unpublished writers think they're Nero watching Rome burn. But the smoke might be from their own britches on fire.

In the meantime, I'll go on loving the world of publishing--in all its incarnations and with all its unsavory characters and twisting plots. Who knows--maybe I'll still be here with Cher and the cockroaches, post-Armageddon.

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