July 28, 2008

"Excellent."


The LDS Publisher blog reveals some of the un-nefarious schemes that accompanied the release of Angel Falling Softly. Because there's this notion going around that a bunch of suits at Zarahemla Books sat around tenting their fingers like Monty Burns and saying "Excellent."

Granted, having been employed by some quite small companies, I can attest to the fact that on the Internet, nobody knows you're four guys working out of a basement. Not to reveal too much about the man behind the curtain, but Zarahemla Books is one guy and a handful of idealists working for free food and peanuts.

These problems aren't confined to this genre alone. The stark realities of niche publishing are plainly laid out here and here. I know people will say: "You should publish this kind of book instead of that kind." It's been done. It's been tried. As the screenwriter William Goldman famously put it: "Nobody knows anything."

He was referring to the fact that no Hollywood expert can vouch for a movie's success before its release. The same goes for books. (I'd bet the success of Twilight came out of left field.) Anybody who detects anything other than a seat-of-the-pants "strategy" at work here, think again. We don't know anything either.

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Comments:

# posted by Blogger Joe
It's the name! Instead of Zarahemla Books, it should have been Gadianton Books. (Or Deception Books with the motto--You will be surprised!)

(The biggest mystery with all forms of media publishing, including TV, is why those offended don't, well, just stop reading/viewing/listening.)
7/28/2008 1:04 PM
 

# posted by Blogger Kate Woodbury
Maybe it's the fear that if they stop reading they will miss out on some inside information that everyone else has.

That's the ticket! I just have to convince editors that everyone must read my stories to get the inside scoop on . . . life, the universe, and everything.
7/28/2008 4:47 PM
 

# posted by Blogger Stephen
Interesting, my review of Angel Falling Softly is probably the least read thing I've written for a while on my blog.
7/29/2008 7:32 PM