Communion Of Dreams

It’s broken.
October 2, 2007, 10:24 am
Filed under: Feedback, Marketing, Press, Promotion, Publishing, Society

A brief note from yesterday’s news:

NEW YORK — It is high season for literary contests.

Two leading booksellers announced competitions Monday, continuing the industry’s unending search for new talent and the increasing willingness to let others do the searching., Penguin Group (USA) and Hewlett-Packard Co. have launched the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, which offers a contract with Penguin and a small advance, $25,000. Meanwhile, Borders Group Inc., Court TV and announced The Next Great Crime Novel competition, with the winner receiving $5,000 and a publishing deal through Borders, the superstore chain.

I’d argue that when an industry is so disfunctional as to need to pull these kinds of stunts to select content, the system is broken. Completely. How is it possible that the publishing industry is in an “unending search for new talent” but is so swamped by submissions that they can’t deal with it all? They’re not looking for talent – they’re looking for name recognition, whether by existing celebrities or by ones created by this kind of gimmick. It is an aspect of our celebrity/sensationalist culture.  And a $25,000 advance is considered “small”?

Oh, and we’ve now passed 5,700 downloads of Communion of Dreams. That’s some 1,200 in September alone. Thanks to all who have helped pass along word of the novel to friends and message boards!

Jim Downey

4 Comments so far
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I find it amusingly timely to have these announcements at the beginning of Banned Books Week.

We don’t need a bunch of trendy new books. We need to support authors who have the gumption to step outside the fundy-approved limits and write such tomes as “And Tango Makes Three,” “The Chocolate War,” and “The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things”. Not to mention any of the Harry Potter books, Judy Blume’s “Forever,” and “Bridge to Terabithia” (which upsets some parents because one of the main characters dies).

Plus, let us not forget the classics like “Grapes of Wrath”, “Of Mice and Men”, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, “In the Night Kitchen”, and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”.

Instead of contests, we need read-ins of books to show that mealy-minded wimps shouldn’t choose the books for the rest of us. If they don’t think their children should be reading a book, that’s their choice. If the school has it on a reading list, ask for an alternative. But book banning should have ended when the Third Reich did.

[Jumping off my soapbox and sitting on it while I read……..]

Comment by ML

[…] Science Fiction, Society, Writing stuff Almost a year ago I noted that the publishing industry is essentially broken, saying this: I’d argue that when an industry is so disfunctional as to need to pull these kinds […]

Pingback by It’s broken, part 2. « Communion Of Dreams

[…] I have said in the past, I think that the industry is essentially “broken.”  Increasingly, the […]

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