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Monday, June 11, 2012

The Gloomy Gus of Publishing

It is very easy to become a  Gloomy Gus about publishing. Oh no. Ipodification of  books. Nobody will pay for anything anymore. Forget about advances. Forget about the big book. We will be down to .99 cent downloads or worse no one will pay for anything. It rolls on and on. My wife and I were at a lake over the weekend and had such a conversation. She took the Gloomy Gus role and of course I took the other side. Her basic thesis was that it was now impossible to make a living off of books. I said there is nothing new under the sun.

But she had a point. It is hard to make a living off of books now. It is down right confusing. What does a publisher want? What can an author expect? But again, I have to say that I never saw the open wide arms of publishing, but more like a man who I had to pry his arms apart. Bad metaphor but there you are. Writing has always been flying in the face of the odds, but could it be any other way. It is the arts after all. And that precludes a stable life. The life of income or fabulous wealth from writing is a fluke if not a lottery oddity.

But, I will say this and I don't think this is being a Pollyanna which my wife accuses me of. A GOOD STORY WILL STILL MAKE ITS WAY. I have to believe that. It is the essence of being a novelist. Tell a great story and if it is a great story, then yes, it will see the light of day and money. Maybe I am drinking the Kool Aide, but I am a writer of fiction.

Books by William Hazelgrove