A self-inflicted wound in the world of traditional publishing

A couple of months ago I went off on a little diatribe about the good and bad of the self-publishing world. I was ticked off by some really crappy work that boasted a nearly five-star rating from readers. It had me questioning the credibility of self-publishing.

Now, the world of traditional publishing has stepped in it, in a big way. Seems that Flatiron Books, which is part of Macmillan, put all their marketing might behind an effort anoint Jeanine Cummins’, American Dirt, the year’s must-read book. It was a timely choice as it deals with the theme of the desperation of Latin immigrants. Unfortunately, it appears to have the cultural depth and accuracy of an episode of “The Lone Ranger.”

Rather than write a brilliant critique of the many layers of problems that this episode has revealed about the word of publishing, I’ll simply share David Bowles’ brilliant critique of the many layers of problems that this episode has revealed about the world of publishing. When someone wonders why an author decides to self publish, this is why. Big publishers are focused on major hits and big name authors, to the detriment of their credibility, the lesser known authors they represent, and the overall business model of publishing in general. But don’t take my word for it:

Imagine a publishing industry that dispensed with hit-making, that used the millions of dollars poured into “American Dirt” to invest more into promoting a greater number and panoply of authors. – David Bowles, New York Times

Thursday Central’ is the online home of a group of writers in St. Pete, Florida. You’ll find anything here from poetry, to short stories, humor, and links to our work out in the world. We meet at 10am every Thursday, typically in a coffee shop somewhere on Central Avenue. The group is open to all, completely informal. We write, we socialize, we drink caffeine, and we share our latest triumphs and setbacks. To find out where we’re meeting next week, contact jkilewrites@gmail.com.

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