Tuesday, September 02, 2014

In defense of the corporate behemoth

Neal Pollack in defense of Amazon:
When Amazon picked me up off the slush pile in 2011, my decade-long, five-book career was effectively dead. I had a modest contract with a legacy publisher for a pseudo-self-help book, but I didn’t want to write it, they no longer wanted put it out, and I’m pretty certain nobody would have wanted to read it. My antiquated dream was to write novels, but my previous and only novel had sold so poorly that I wouldn’t have been able to give away the next one for free, to any publisher.

Instead, through Amazon, I’ve published three full-length novels—a historical action comedy set in the very specific world of 1930s Jewish basketball and two detective stories set in the L.A. yoga scene, originally written in serialized form—as well as three 10,000-word novellas, including an extended piece of Kurt Vonnegut “fan fiction,” all in the last 30 months. I have another novel, a time-travel romantic comedy, coming out next March and I’m under contract to write still another novel, subject yet to be determined. It’s been the most enjoyable creative burst of my career, a gleeful hack’s sprint toward nowhere in particular.
As a reader, I have to say that Amazon has been an incredible boon to me. And what Pollack says seems to me very true - for what was formerly known as a mid-list author (and for readers who want to have access to books that are written to "commercial" standards of excellence but are not sufficiently commercial/mainstream in their appeal to hit the buttons for the big publishers - I am thinking of Neil Smith, Charlie Williams, et al. - often these books are just too demented and violent for, say, readers of conventional police procedurals, but they are absolutely brilliant!), Amazon's publishing wing - and what it can do in terms of making backlist titles easily available to ordinary readers - has been a force for good....

1 comment:

  1. Good deeds do not somehow cancel out the bad. It's just a both...and then. They are still bullies.