8 comments on “A Marketer Ate My Baby! [If My Baby Was a Book and Not Actually *My* Book]

  1. I hope this piece is widely-read. Every day, it seems, I’m asked for advice by writers (not all of them young) on how to go pro… and I advise them, to a man (and woman), “don’t do it!” I’m not just trying to throw off the posse (even those who are asking, in effect, to take my work away from me and make it theirs). Sure, it’s possible to realize your dream and write for a living but there’s a cost not many are willing to pay. I sort of exist in a middle ground between writers who can’t get published and those who can, but only because they make a genuine living writing the dullest, most corporate-driven material in the world. Being caught in the middle means I’m published, widely-read, I write what I want, and I make almost nothing. So we’re kind of saying the same thing. If you’re going to resign yourself to a soul-less living, make decent money and write what you like on the side. I know many a published author who is doing this and their work is better than the garret-dwelling Bohemian.

    • Thanks, Richard–it sounds like we are most definitely on a similar wavelength with this. It’s such a deeply personal choice, and I think there’s a basic misunderstanding of what it really means to turn the writing you love into the writing that pays. There’s a LOT of compromise, and if I’m going to be compromising anyway, I’m going to do it for a nice paycheck, you know? Besides, I think I’m so caught up in this weirdo microcosm of friends & acquaintances that my idea of what’s commercially viable is probably all KINDS of fucked up at this point!

  2. This is marvelously written. Your mom’s account of the RWA and the marketing process reminds me of a book I read – for interest, not because I wanted to write a novel – called “How To Write A Romance (And Get It Published).” I read it when I was in my mid-teens and still hooked on trashy Fabio-cover romances, and I recall being surprised at how slick and manipulative the writer made the whole business sound, with absolute sincerity and not a trace of cynicism.

    • Thank you so much! Your recounting of that book is EXACTLY reflective of the people I’ve known who write this kind of fiction for a living–it’s not that they’re cynical, it’s just that they’ve found out how to turn their skill into a living. They just don’t view it as being this grand. creative pursuit; it’s a fun job they do, with the same kind of discipline that people who dig their day-jobs have.

  3. Since what I’m currently working on is both about alternative sexualities and pornographic as all hell, there’s not a prayer that I’ll ever publish it with a “legit” publisher, but fuck it, I don’t care. I have a business plan and it’s one that doesn’t include selling my soul to the plantation of late capitalism. Viva la revolución!

    • That’s awesome as hell, Christi and I cannot wait to see the final result! I love the peeks I’ve gotten thus far. And seriously, I mean it when I say “fuck those guys” to mainstream publishers–in the world we’re living in now, it’s not necessary to getting one’s thoughts out there, and even turning that into a viable living. Cutting out all those middle-people results in a net gain for actual creators.

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