“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Integrity? Now There’s A Novel Idea

This really should have been the publishing story of the week. The guy, Tao Lin, has balls of steel if you skim the headline, with the gist of the story running thusly:
Shameless self-promotion or the future of the publishing industry? A young novelist is selling shares in his next book, to allow him to quit work and concentrate on his writing.
  You have to love his chutzpah, right? The little guy taking on the might of the conglomerates and kicking out the parameters until the paradigm shifts. Except then you read the actual piece, and you get this:
The 25-year-old says he likes the idea of a group of capitalists having a financial interest in his sales.
  “If anyone buys shares they will have concrete motivation to promote me and that also will increase sales,” he wrote.
  “If people buy shares I will probably, I think, make even more money than if I had not sold shares of my royalties.”
  Why does this story put me in mind of a POW tunnelling back into Colditz?
  Here’s a radical idea, you lazy, precious piece of corporate putty – get a job, write your novel at night (or early in the morning, if you prefer), save your moolah and self-publish. That way you retain the rights and maybe even a shred of dignity. Peace, out.

4 comments:

Gerard Brennan said...

Ouch. Good advice, but, you know... ouch.

gb

norby said...

So here's an idea-instead of page numbers in your next book-people get to buy their own page. Up where the number would normally be you would find their initials!

Declan Burke said...

Or why not sell characters' names? Or hell, why not go the whole hog and let the investors tell you what kind of character they'd like to be? The potential is endless. Cheers, Dec

ryan manning said...

the next night we ate whale