I love a good satire piece, don’t you? And this one from Lawrence Block had me absolutely howling.
Publishing circles were reeling today after this morning’s surprise announcement of the merger of pop fiction titans James Patterson and Clive Cussler, who between them are likely to account for twenty bestsellers in calendar year 2014 alone. While neither author could be reached for comment, a source close to both men confirmed that the deal will include all rights—film, electronic, and audio—to the two authors’ innumerable backlist titles as well as all current and future work.
and then goes on from there, getting better and better as it goes. There are so many good bits in it I’m tempted to quote the entire piece. Such as the part where an Authors Guild representative expresses concern that other mergers will follow, “and you can look forward to the day when half a dozen mega-writers dominate the market.”
Or where a marketing expert explains that, in the age of the mega-writer, aspiring new writers will begin by ghosting for or writing with a mega-writer. This will solve the problem of selling an author’s first book, because “now there won’t be any first or second novels. Every book published will be a known quantity.”
I think my altogether favorite bit, though, is this:
The two [Authors] Guild representatives did find one point of agreement. “If you want to know who gets the blame,” said one, “you don’t have to look any further than Amazon.”
(Someone really should filk the South Park song “Blame Canada” into “Blame Amazon”. It would describe so much about the current publishing world.)