Sunday, October 18, 2009

Robert McCrum Tells it Like it Is

A friend of McCrum's has, like so many of us, fallen foul of the current situation in which
new fiction by unknown writers, the lifeblood of the business, is being scrutinised by people who have neither appetite for, nor understanding of, originality.
He says what I have been saying for years about the errors of contemporary publishing marketing philosophy:
Here, as in Hollywood, [from the nineties] the cry was: "Give us books that look like other successful books"... Original books are, by definition, not like others. They must be selected by experienced readers (aka editors).

5 comments:

Sheenagh Pugh said...

Fellow called Jack Clemmons in Nashville once said the same about the guys who ran record labels: "they want you to copy what sells, but if everyone copies somethin' else, pretty soon there ain't nothin' new left to copy".

SueG said...

Ugh. Tell me about it.....she writes sighing deeply....

Elizabeth Kay said...

For the second time, I've just had something published that I wrote a while back, but was rejected at the time because "it couldn't ever happen". The first was a short story that predicted painting with body fluids, which went on to win a prize only after Damian Hirst became a household name. The second is my latest novel, Missing Link, which predicted reality TV...

Elizabeth Baines said...

Very interesting, Elizabeth. And congratulations on achieving this against the odds!

Deborah Rey said...

He most certainly does!