Wednesday, September 10, 2014
by Nicole Petrino-Salter
Anyone with a complaint about the CBA or Christian Fiction or . . . please raise your hand.
This is my primary gripe, and, admittedly, it no doubt applies to all publishing, including craft books and speakers. Are you ready for it? Here goes: "Only the best work gets published." If you can nod your head at that statement, then I submit you haven't read much fiction of any kind or you just got published. That statement is not entirely truthful, and even publishing professionals know it isn't.
Publishing novels is a subjective, trendy, demographically-targeted, genre-centered, type-focused operation. Free-enterprise. Profit-based. As it should be. This entitles each house to make its decisions as to what and who to publish and to establish what it will require from its authors, new and veteran. If a publisher wants to be identified with a certain genre (i.e. romance, historical, thriller), those in charge select authors to best represent it.
It's not unrealistic to assume the editors or publishing boards want specific qualities, and of course none of them desire to publish poor writing or bad stories. And yet, some of them do. I've read them. Time and again. With good blurbs followed by mediocre stories and clichéd writing, there are plenty of novels out there that are certainly not "the best". But perhaps they appeal to a specific demographic, and that demographic antes up and buys the books. Not unlike a few of the NYTimes Bestsellers.
The point being, my complaint isn't about the actual published books, it's regarding the platitudes involved in publishing. "Primetime", "The Best", "Polished", etc. If you read enough novels in any genre, sooner or later, you're going to find "the best" books aren't always the ones that get published. That's just the way it is.
Nicole Petrino-Salter writes love stories with a passion. She resides in Auburn, Wa., devoted to Jesus Christ, her family, friends, and pets. You can find her here most days.