Either you are sorting it out, or you are full of it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Taking the Piss Out of Publishing Dreams

I’ve often fantasized about publishing something I’ve written in the pages of a top literary journal. The fantasies always begin with a certain swagger in front of the mirror as I imagine how proud I’d feel about it. Plus there’s all the all the cool shit I’d get along with it. Then I start to see things for what they are:

I get an agent. I get somebody who never leaves me alone and always wants to know when I’m going to finish what I’m working on, or worse still tells me what to write.

I get some money, i.e. some money, not a shitload. In fact, if I’m lucky probably just enough to live in China for a month. Unless by some strange coincidence somebody in Hollywood decides to option whatever I write for a movie. Then I might get a shit load of money, but I get to watch whatever I’ve written morph into a photo-shoot gone wrong at worst or a classic of the genre at the best. Writing the book that inspires a classic has its downsides too – nobody wants to be the author of the book that was “almost as good” as the movie that it spawned.

I get laid. It’s going to be either the intellectual ones who’ve read my work and just want to pick my brain about it and play interviewer with me all the time, or the ones who just like the idea of being with a famous writer, for bohemian cachet or what-have-you, probably don’t read all that much. I’d probably do better trying to pick up by telling people I’m an actuary…

I get to meet other famous authors. I get to do something that I’m thrilled to do, but which I’m sure a number of famous authors are not. A lot of writers are not always the most affable of people either, which would probably make the whole thing rather akin to dental work.

I get to join the literature talking circuit. I’m forced to talk about my finished, published writing, which frankly is probably the last thing I want to talk about. I’d prefer much more to talk to the doe-eyed beauties sitting in the front row, but that kind of favoritism doesn’t go down too well.

I get something impressive to say at parties. Do I really want to go to parties where I have to do that kind of shit anyway?

I get to have the satisfaction of publishing, seeing my book in print. I also have the immense specter of “Will he ever publish again?” lurking over my bookshelf, heckling my slim volume lost in the veritable sea of world literature.

I get my own page on Wikipedia which people will undoubtedly change to say that I fuck goats or got my inspiration for my work by huffing gasoline.

I get to make my parents proud. This is okay, but I have a feeling they’d be proud of me regardless. And really… have I gotten that desperate that I’m bringing them into this?


Despite the rather negative spin that I’ve put on all of these things, I still think that becoming a published author would be sweet. It’s madness, but I suppose most endeavors are when you think about it…

posted by ferret at 3:07 am  

1 Comment »

  1. The ultimate self-publishing indie mindf*ck for those of us outside the literary orbit is serialized net publishing through a blog. Of a novel, I mean.

    Philosophically, it instantly breaches the primary spheres: writing, the process -and- having your voice heard.

    I guess some blogs get optioned to be books. But that usually implies a change of form in the prose. If your work is already a novel and it becomes a book, it’s just being transfered onto paper. It’s being sold.

    Have you read No Media Kings?

    I often think it would be interesting to print up your own books (must be cheap here) and then distribute it through your local indie book store (Garden Books here) and some events of your own devising. A writing group could then self-publish everything they do and have a little dedicated shelf at said shop or cafe.

    Comment by Andy Best — March 29, 2010 @ 2:31 pm

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