Monday, 4 June 2007

Is it Just Me...

… or do a lot of submissions have a similar ring to them? Every so often, you get a book whose influence dominates your in-tray. They are picked up and waved about by prospective authors because a. the book has been hugely successful and b. because they seem deceptively easy to put together. Previous ‘I could do that’s include Schott’s Miscellany (‘It’s just a load a random facts chucked together’), Nick Hornby (‘I can do lists’) and chick-lit (‘Jane Austen plus nice shoes equals easy money’). At the moment, the market leader is ‘Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Shit?’ – a week doesn’t go past without one Shit Lite (Shite?) landing on my desk, full of ironic rudeness and digs at Starbucks and Jade Goody. These wannabe writers are making two mistakes here: firstly, the book they are adapting is already eighteen months old, and will be over two years and counting by the time their book would be out – in other words, it’s too late. Secondly, and more importantly, they are assuming that because something is easy to read, it is easy to write. The more I work in publishing, the more I realise the absolute opposite is the case.

No comments: