Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Excuse Me While I Scream

I have a friend who has more than one publishable novel in her train. She keeps getting within a hair of publication, going through multiple rounds of extensive revision, serious negotiations with editors, the works, only to lose out at the last minute. Recently I and all her friends rejoiced over her finally getting a contract with a certain publisher - which has now folded.

She's being philosophical about this - after all, as she points out, she is not homeless in Haiti and she'd had a few doubts about this publisher to begin with. This is no doubt the correct attitude.

But I, as her friend, feel like I can rant about it a bit. So (apologies to my Christian friends, for the particular expression I am about to use):


There. I feel better now I've done that in public.

And of course I know the answer to my own question. Publishing is an industry. The quality of a work is only one of many, many variables in getting from author to public. Corporations working the way they do, it sometimes seems like a miracle that as much quality stuff gets published as does; and I know that a great many wonderful works will never see the light of day or reach their best audience, even with the e-book revolution that is gradually gathering momentum. It isn't fair, but if you expect fairness you're going to live a life of disappointment. She may never publish a novel; I may never publish another one. We accept that and move on, or we stand still and gnash our teeth for the rest of our lives.

At least she has an agent to help her maximize her chances. So excuse me again while I go back to trying to find one for me, too.

(It appears that laying tile involves a lot of pounding and razor blades. All occupations are mysterious to those outside them.)

1 comment:

  1. Oh, how frustrating! You're friend must be a wise and strong woman for sure.