Mailvox: a brief lesson in mainstream publishing

Dave doesn’t understand how publishing works:

Why didn’t those same gatekeepers that kept your books from being published disallow the contract offer from the start? How dysfunctional are these publishers that one entity signs you to a book contract but another doesn’t allow anything to be published. Did they sign you with the intention to convince you to write something that would be acceptable to the gatekeepers?

  1. Because they didn’t know about it.
  2. More dysfunctional than you would believe. 
  3. No.

It’s pretty simple. Editors have a good deal of leeway. The vice-presidents, vice-publishers, and marketing executives very seldom know much about the books that are being signed. They won’t have seen the book because it hasn’t been written yet, so all they know is what the editor, who is the internal champion of the author and the book, tells them.

The usual process was this:

  • Editor runs across one of my books or the blog.
  • Editor reads the book, reads a little of the blog, and contacts me.
  • At editor’s request, I come up with a book concept.
  • Editor likes concept, offers book deal.
  • Book deal proceeds, up to and including contract signing.
  • Female director of marketing is asked for input, googles me, throws hissy fit and insists that the project be canceled due to my being “too controversial”.

After this happened for the third time in a row, I stopped talking to mainstream publishers. When I am approached by an editor – which has mostly stopped now that they are all familiar with Castalia House – I just tell them that I am not interested in mainstream publication. For me, at any rate, it’s a complete waste of time, especially since the rising percentage of SJWs at the editorial level means that the number of left-wing gatekeepers is increasing.

And I suspect most authors who lean to the right are gradually going to come to reach the same conclusion that Mr. Cole and I have, especially as the bookstores continue to die off.