When I have only just begun to seek information concerning the process of starting up a book publishing company, the bigger number of articles, I came across on the Internet were dedicated to the self-publishing. It is widely accepted that if the author decided to publish himself, it means that he wrote the most uninteresting book ever written and therefore couldn't find the agent or the publisher. However there is another opinion that the highest amount of best-selling eBooks comes from self-publishing. So then, I try to discuss both arguments together and then give you my own opinion.
I have often had letters from agents or publishers with the following contents:
“While your project does sound interesting, I’m afraid it’s not quite right for me at this time. We certainly recognize that we might well be passing up a good opportunity, but due to the high volume of work that we are receiving we have to be extremely selective about the work that we choose to represent, and we are only able to take on very few authors at this time.”
“We have read this with great interest. We are however sorry to say that after careful consideration we are not able to offer you representation for your work. The current publishing climate is harsh, and editors (like agents) are being even more cautious than usual, especially where literary fiction by foreign writers is concerned, which means I just don’t think we’d succeed in finding you a publisher.”
“I quite like the sample pages you provided. That’s rarely a good sign, as my interest tends to be equivalent to a death knell for a work’s commercial success.”
Well, I’m going to tell you a secret, author as well as publisher never knows what a crappy or exceptional book has been written, at the same time every writer is absolutely certain he has something to talk about, moreover he is fated to create a masterpiece. Therefore rejections could be both types of a tragic accident and accidental error: the hidden masterpiece and the corn shit! One way or the other you have to know: publishers and agents never take any risk; they are always based upon the past closely modeled on previous achievements. As stockbrokers they also try to predict the future price of a stock by looking at its historical prices, and if the share was bought yesterday, therefore it will be bought tomorrow. Bad idea, for many reasons but, like many very bad ideas, it might exist forever.
There is no need to be overly clever to know that today the center reference point for any publisher and agent is The New Twilight and The Da Vinci Code books. I’d lay money on it. However, it seems that publishers do not understand one thing: that horse has already gone a long way – there are plenty of these stories, right now readers have much more they could swallow up. The larger is the company (publisher house in our case), the more difficult it is to keep up with the times and provide the market with products of maximum quality, corresponding with the most demanding needs of modern reader and predicting the future literary trends. In other words, sometimes we are deprived of that which is of the first necessity: reading a good book because something completely different is published, something that has been written on the pattern of 50 shades of … well, you know. And only you know best what you are looking for, aren’t you?
Let me make a seditious thought: if your book was published like a house on fire or some literary agent jumped at the opportunity of representing your interests, it is likely that you have written pop literature book, in short, you opened another one McDonald’s. Currently good piece of literature is as unwanted child at the present time as it has ever been in the past. On the other hand 95% of books repeatedly rejected by publishers are rightly rejected ones. For me at present times, to be today’s reader obviously is even harder than being modern writer. You laugh but this is a fact! Nowadays, every reader should be able to separate the diamond from the dunghill and may derive pleasure from its contemplation, I’m sorry, from its possession or, more precisely, from its reading.