23 March 2004

Publishing? Reality? Sarcasm? You can get them places other than here, although in very few places other than here can you get them all at once, all the time. Although I can't speak for the "all the time," John Scalzi offers a few pithy comments on the realities of the publishing industry.

For those of us who've been the law-school route, it might remind you of the bizarre clerkship decisions made by judges: The middle-of-the-class famous college athlete who got a Court of Appeals clerkship, and the law review editors who couldn't even get interviews. (I was neither—soccer players weren't famous in the 1970s and 1980s, especially in Division III; and I did have interviews… but that's a very, very long story indeed.) In other words, there's a more-than-sneaking suspicion that "pure merit"—whatever that might be, given the subjective nature of "merit" in letters and the arts—has not all that much to do with publishing success. Of course, that begs the question of what does. It sure as hell isn't publishers' marketing efforts, at least not once gets outside of niche markets!