The Guardian's Tim Clare throws down on the rampant idealism in the publishing industry:
The truth is a disproportionate number of publishers are wide-eyed idealists with a frightening propensity for chucking good money after bad. As much as agents and editors may feign a cool professional insouciance, most dream of stumbling across The Next Big Thing and securing their place in industry history.
Personally I think the Next Big Thing is Tim Clare. Check it out: he's not fooled by any of that annoying insouciance being peddled by the wide-eyed and stumbling -- obviously too cool for that -- and he's not going to leap at any of that good or bad money they're chucking about.
Not counting the money he was advanced for his first novel, of course.
Queuing is what made our nation great. If anything, the British publishing industry is too open to new writers at the expense of skilled stalwarts.
I do need some Transatlantic help interpreting this part: is this skilled stalwart with a whole one book under his belt actually saying that standing in line is what made Britain Great? I always thought forcing King John to sign the Magna Carta was more on the great side, but I'm distracted by nations granting silly things like basic rights and so forth.
Picking authors before they're ripe represents a bad deal for all concerned.
So we're . . . tomatoes? Bananas? Apples? What about those of us who have been irradiated?
Unless prospective authors are prepared to take a responsible approach to finding a readership and a stable place in the market, publishers would do well to move towards GP Taylor's vision of the industry as an exclusive club with clientele by invitation only and undesirables left to squabble among themselves in the street.
The responsible approach being standing in line and waiting until someone (Tim?) decides you're worthy of picking, I guess. If nothing else, it certainly eliminates all those idiotic writers' hopes and dreams. Whoever is left becomes, what, literary writers?