… whom the woke-mob bays for; it bayeth for thee… to paraphrase John Dunne. As no less than Woody Allan may testify at this point, as the article linked here outlines. So the woke mob claims another scalp; yay, wokesters of New York City Mainstream Publishing Division! Take a bow, having thrown a glorious temper tantrum and bent your employer to your will! Today, Woody Allen – tomorrow? Who knows?! N.K. Jemison, a notoriously woke science fiction writer and beneficiary of the current system, weighed in on behalf of the mob, which is … not a good look for someone dealing in speculative fiction. She is supposed to possess some talent, but again – encouraging the mob, even joining in – not something which a thoughtful person with a sense of events and historical recall ought to do. But never mind.
Frankly, as far as I am concerned the mainstream publishing establishment, which is centered in New York (as if that wasn’t sufficient punishment) may ride off into the sunset any time now. Words like “incestuous” and “culturally-blind” come to mind, as well as “arrogant” and “exploitative.”
Kind of like Hollywood, in a lot of ways, and for more than just creative accounting and abusive supervisors. There are more – many more! writers who want to be published, just as there are more good actors and actresses who want a part in a blockbuster movie a good TV series; for value of good, read “long-running and well-remunerated.” Such slots available are parsimoniously sparse, in comparison to those desiring them, so much so that those who are in control of those places may pick and choose among them, utilizing criteria which … well, never mind. Many are called and few are chosen, and lucky are those who are not judged by submission unto the casting couch. Would that actors and writers could be judged by sheer raw talent, but I kind of suspect that the Hollywood casting couch and an affinity/connections among the establishment literati in New York counted for far, far more.
Not that I am bitter, or anything; at least I have indy publishing, whereas a talented actor/actress who doesn’t want to go the casting-couch route has no other options besides local little theater, or maybe small video productions streamed over the net. I am nowhere near the sales or the princely income of any champion indy-published author, yet I do make a nice bit of change from my twenty or so books out there, and I have a fair number of regional fans. I don’t regret in the least that I never got past the point of sending out an endless series of letters and sample chapters to literary agencies – nearly all of whom were, oddly enough, in New York. I don’t regret in the least that I might otherwise have a score of unborn and unread novels buried in a desk drawer someplace, and given up, under the previous way of publishing. Woody Allen is perfectly free to hire an editor, cover artist and book designer, and publish and market his memoir independently, just as I had suggested that Paula Deen do, when her cookbook got cancelled in the outrage storm several years ago.
Eh … the establishment publishing bodies appear to be an insular lot, when it comes to judging appeal to a wider audience, a regional audience, or even just fans of a genre which (for some unfathomable reason) was declared to be infra dig – like Westerns were. Or … TV shows set in rural settings, some decades ago. Popular they were, too – shows like Green Acres, and all the rest cancelled in what has become called “The Rural Purge,” all because the decision-markers in TV programming decided that they wanted to appeal to a more urban and presumably wealthier segment of the public. My sense is that establishment publishing is withdrawing even more markedly, into an even tighter and tighter circle, while independent authors go on their merry way, undisturbed. Discuss as you wish.