When we last checked in on the tattered integrity of the publishing industry, Sam Tanenhaus, editor of the New York Times Review of Books, was reminding us that good writers will never need to self-publish:
Our thinking, which may be old-fashioned, is that with so great a volume of books being published each year by traditional publishers, and with so many imprints available, every book of merit is almost certain to find a home at one or another of those presses.
It would be a fallacy to suggest that all books published by mainstream publishers are works of merit, and someone with Sam Tanenhaus’s privileged industry access would never suggest otherwise. Rather, he’s simply asserting that there are no self-published works of merit anywhere in the known universe, and never will be.
I was reminded of this bit of expert analysis recently while reading about the first novel written by the Kardashian sisters, apparently in tag-team fashion:
“As wild as our real lives may seem on TV, just wait to read what we’ve dreamed up to deliver between the covers of our first novel,” Kourtney, Kim and Khloé said in a statement last week, announcing that William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins, would publish a novel they had written.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking it’s unlikely anyone who wrote a train-wreck sentence like that is capable of writing an entire book. But you might also be thinking it’s a bit unfair that the Kardashian sisters have a book deal with HarperCollins, while Sam Tanenhaus is crapping all over your writing life by summarily defining you as a failure because your mother didn’t pimp you out for a TV series. [ Read more ]