Dear Aspiring Writers (including myself):
Take note. While toiling away, trying to write a meaningful story that justly captures some aspect of the human experience, remember that publishing, like any creative pursuit, is first and foremost a business. You could write the greatest tale that has ever been told, but if no one believes that’s it’s marketable, no one will publish it. Meanwhile, someone who is famous for tanning, teasing her hair and getting excessively drunk in public will get a book published almost instantly because the publisher knows it will make them a lot of money.
Some depressing statistics about books:
- 33% of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
- 42% of college graduates never read another book after college.
- 80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.
- 70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
- 57% of new books are not read to completion.
- 70% of books published do not earn back their advance.
- 70% of books published do not make a profit.
Knowing all of this, publishers pander to the lowest common denominator. They are far more likely to publish a terrible book that will sell a million copies than a brilliant book that will sell five hundred copies. Taking a gamble on a book they know almost no one will read is simply not worth their money.
However, you can at least try to take solace in the fact that in twenty years, people will still be reading, analysing and loving Poe’s work, yet no one will remember or care who Snooki is.
This is pathetic.