Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Palin -- the lowest common denominator

Yesterday I heard an interview with Michelle Norris of NPR and Mary Kehe, the book editor of the Christian Science Monitor, about the flood of books coming out about Sarah Palin. The last interchange really hit home to me, because of the number of rejections I’ve gotten about the subject matter of my book.

NORRIS: If we look at all of the Sarah Palin books that are about to be published, what do we learn about the book publishing industry in this moment?
KEHE: Oh boy, I - you know, I hate to say it, but I don't think it paints a pretty picture. It seems to me it smacks of a bit of desperation. And in many cases it shows a little bit of disregard for quality, a willingness to cater, in some cases, not every case, certainly, but sometimes to a lowest common denominator.

Well, that conversation makes me feel less like a failure. I think my work is good. I've heard from others that it's good. Unfortunately, it’s not the subject matter that will grab a book agent or publisher who wants to deal with popular people and their thoughts no matter how banal they might be. And, I’m not a celebrity. One agent said she could only see a publisher interested in my book if I were a famous person. Well, maybe once the economy picks up, these folks in the book publishing world may be more willing to take some literary chances. I can wait.

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