Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Publishing Tortoise - An Advantage?

It has occurred to me that the fact the publishing industry moves with all the dispatch of a glacier made of molasses might be an advantage in the current economic environment (which is to say, the current fucked-up recession). By the time we get an agent to review our query, ask for a partial, get around to reading the partial, ask for a full, get around to reading the full, sign us, send us some revision ideas, wait for our revisions, review our revisions, come up with a submission plan, and finally get around to submitting our work to editors, the economy should have perked up considerably -- if the history of past recessions is any guide -- and publishing houses should be looking to increase their lists. (Actually, given their long lead times, if the publishing industry acted like any other, publishers should have been increasing their lists this year in anticipation of increased demand next year.)

Because frankly, if history betrays us and things actually get worse, we should drop all our current projects and start writing nothing but post-apocalyptic novels like The Road.

9 comments:

  1. If it doesn't get better, I'm moving down under.

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  2. Tina, Tina, Tina... Did you know that Australia has more poisonous snakes than any other country? That they have giant poisonous spiders that actually kill people every year? Giant man-eating crocodiles that *hunt* humans? Jellyfish that kill with a single sting? If you're gonna move down under, for God's sake go to New Zealand! All they have is millions of sheep and feral cats!

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  3. Can we make a pact that if none of us are published by the time we're 80 that we will bind our would-be-books and sit around at Tina's house to read each others work?

    Trav, you'll bring the Ovaltine.

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  4. I don't want to read more books like the Road!
    And is very true about Australia. Canada better move.

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  5. Amber, don't mean to shock you, sweetie, but when you're 80, I'll be 109.

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  6. If I'm dead, Trav, I won't care about the friggin' economy.

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  7. At the rate things are going for me with my novel, it's the *next* recession that's the issue!

    If things get worse overall, it's like I tell people all the time about federal employment: "If the federal government can't pay my pension, it's time to buy some guns and head for the hills because I've got a lot more to worry about than retirement!"

    (This, btw, and despite how it sounds, is a positive contrast to private sector pension plans and 401ks/403bs.)

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  8. Oh, and not to totally hog up your comments, Travener, but: a) I'm not a federal employee, and b) I've never read "The Road."

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