Right, we know, “it’s the economy, stupid.” One author posted her thoughts that publishers might stop accepting debut authors and stick with midlist authors (of which she is one). One agent tells writers to polish, polish, polish and keep working on craft. (That advice still bugs the shit out of me, smells like teen spirit or something–who isn’t trying to get better?)
Come up with a groundbreaking novel! Stick to the tried and true! Don’t quit your day job. No kidding. I’m lucky enough to work for a “company,” perhaps the only one in my state, with a 12-billion dollar surplus. Of course, with the generous alumns watching their stocks plummet, that won’t last long.
So what are YOU going to do? Are you buying books? I’m not buying a damned thing these days–one of those contributing to the circular doom of poor consumer confidence.
Are you writing books for New York? Are you nervous? Are you putting that great novel in a vacuum bag until things look up?
Are you worried that your publisher may even fold?
Look, there will always be books. Electronic, perhaps. Paper, for a while. Maybe a long while. Maybe someday books will be video-interactive plays holographically zinged into your living pod.
My theory is that you can’t live your life with one eye to the sky like Chicken Little and be creative. The sky may be falling, but you have to write like it’s 1999. Because it won’t mean a thing in a hundred years. And girls just wanna have fun. And that kind of stuff. So your “dream agent” (that phrase always reminds me of a board game from some other decade called “Dream Date”) is blogging gloom. There is no reason why this recession should not touch publishing–that’s simply not how economics works. Unless you are employed in publishing (your only bread and butter), you might have to tighten the worry belt a little and chill. This is nothing small-time authors can fix, any more than we can save the auto industry (if you are inclined to do so–but that’s another argument).
Go ahead, let me have it. I know you want to.