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Time to Stop Reading
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During the past few months I've learned a lot about the book publishing industry from reading blogs and now I am going to stop reading. Or at least slow down. I don't mean to quit looking at blogs altogether but I think it would be beneficial for me to avoid a daily diet of those primarily devoted to publishing and selling.

It's a good thing for writers to know what we've got ourselves into, but I'm not sure it's helpful for us to keep reminding ourselves.

What use is it to me to know, for example, that the marketing people who choose today's novels only want authors who are young and good looking? I'm not likely to be young again and I wasn't good looking when I was young. The only logical conclusion to be derived from the information is that I should give up writing which I am not inclined to do. The chances of a homely, aging underweight, socially awkward author selling a book to one of the publishing conglomerates may be nil but going thirty years without selling anything didn't stop me writing in the past and won't stop me in the future.

The same can be said of all the other dreadful facts -- how people don't read anymore, how midlist authors are an endangered species, how chain stores dictate what's published etc etc etc. Yes, the publishing industry aepresented by the major houses is vile. But what else would you expect? Big publishing is big business.

And none of it affects what I do. I'm not a businessman or a salesman. I write. I will continue to write what I like. And Mary and I, together, will write what amuses us, and if someone buys it, fine. If not, too bad. But in the meantime I'm going to do my best to stop depressing myself by fretting about the state of the industry.

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