Why Would Anyone Want to be a Writer?
This has been a strange week in the writing world. First there’s Q. R. Martin and his spy novel, Assassin of Secrets released on November 3. Turns out it was stitched together from John Gardner, Raymond Benson, Charles McCarry and a host of other well known thriller writers. Lifted word for word. Only the name of the protagonist was changed. Spy novelist Jeremy Duns even blurbed the book. His blog with his thoughts here
. Now the book’s publisher, Mulholland Books, susposedly pulled it when the plagiarism(s) came to light, but it’s still on Amazon
. In fact it’s ranked #151 in books.
And the reviews from Kirkus (starred), Publisher’s Weekly (starred), and several NYT Bestselling authors call it thrilling, smart, and, according to PW, (with an) obvious Ian Fleming influence(that) just adds to the appeal
. I’ll say it has an Ian Fleming appeal. Most of it is plagiarized from James Bond novels.
So here is a book earning starred reviews from most of the biggest review sites in the business and it’s a fraud.
Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
Today on a loop several authors discussed the publishing business and how so many of us are either in between contracts, pitching new series, or waiting to begin contract negotiations. Agents are telling us advances are on a downward trend. That it’s up in the air if contracts will be renewed at all. No one is confident about the future. Words like unsteady and fearful are bandied about.
And yet. There is an alternative now, isn’t there? E-pubbing. It’s no longer something we don’t want to think about or for books not considered good enough for a New York house. Well-established authors are releasing their backlists or putting new work on line.
I’m teaching an online writing class now. I want to be optimistic with my students. I tell them that talent and perseverance win out. That publishing with a New York house is the goal.
Is it really?
I don’t think I know anymore.