Am I the only one who’s just enamoured with publishing as an industry?
I know, I know. It’s flawed. It’s a business. It turns art into commodity. Good books get rejected cause they don’t match trends. Bad books get accepted because they do. Etc.! I know all the flaws with capitalism and the industries it births as well as anyone else does, but is it okay to love those industries with all your heart in spite of that?
I love publishing.
I always wanted to be an agent or an editor for my day job. While that didn’t end up happening, I still dream about it sometimes. Being inside the machine, reading all those books, meeting authors at the ground level. The chance to see potential and then do something about it! Or try to do something about it and fail. My dreams are realistic. They’re practical. And I don’t intend to drop everything and pretend to be an agent any time soon!
But publishing is just special to me. Somehow, our industry has survived in an age where other forms of media have supplanted what books once where, and book have, in turn, become a subculture. And the industry, for all its flaws, for all its goals being aimed toward turning a dime, is just jammed full of people who love reading. Who love books. Who chose publishing as their career despite the fragility of the industry.
And that’s exciting! I can’t help but get a little worked up when I think about it. Books have survived and continue to survive. Up here in the Great White North, whenever I walk into a Chapters, it’s just full of people browsing books, reading at the adjoining Starbucks, and helping their children pick out a new adventure to explore.
Try as I may to remain pragmatic about the realities of publishing, I can’t. There’s a whole body of people out there who still believe in books and authors and readers. They work every day with the written word. I look back on my life so often and wish that I had have ended up as part of that body, but I’m glad with the role I get to play in it now. To all the agents, editors, production people, publicists, and marketers out there:
I can’t help it. I love you.