Lynne Scanlon's blog, "the Publishing Contrarian", used to be an interesting source of inside information on the New York publishing scene. My feeling is she's dropped the ball, to borrow a pointless sports metaphor, and in the process is misleading writers working to break in.
In her perfectly understandable desire to see a book she collaborated on twenty-five years ago, The Cure for Jet Lag, back in print, she has turned to print-on-demand technology. In the process, though, she claims this is the only way:
“This area is a hothouse of creative types, from writers to artists who can benefit from print on demand books,” stated Lynne Scanlon, the co-author of The Cure For Jet Lag.
“These folks will gravitate to POD not only because it is the most expedient way to produce a book, but because literary agents and editors could care less about un-established writers these days.”
But don’t the authors of books published in non-traditional ways risk acquiring a sort of stigma as not really being professional writers, thus giving agents a reason to steer clear? “Good luck finding an agent if you don’t already have one,” Ms. Scanlon said. “That’s the Catch-22 of publishing.”
Her blog post was excerpted from a newspaper article, in case you couldn't tell. Sorry, but this just isn't good advice. New colleagues are popping up around me all the time. They have agents, they have publishers, they're getting paid for their work. Publishing wants to publish books, for heaven's sake! Editors and agents care deeply about writers and books, both old and new. I think Scanlon's statements are, at the least, self-serving, and at worst, deliberately untrue. Don't give up, folks! Just write some great books.
Read the post here, if you want to: http://www.thepublishingcontrarian.com/2009/12/10/pod-lets-authors-resol...