Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Dear Inappropriate Publisher
Dear Inappropriate Publisher:
The first rule one learns about approaching prospective publishers is that one must do one's research. Do not approach a travel publisher with a hard science fiction novel. Don't send a romance novel to an austere, tony New York literary outfit. And if one writes natural histories of the fascinating beetle kingdom, one should send that to a publishing house that made its name on fine books about the wild world, not to an imprint working with fake realistic novels about teen life.
This is good advice. I was keen to take it. So I checked out one of those fat guides to the publishing houses, and I looked carefully through it for publishers who work with the kind of material I write. And I looked. And I looked some more. With a sinking heart I realized that no publisher publishes my genre: unpopular short essays of blistering genius.
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "That's weird. Surely there must be one publisher who publishes unpopular short essays of blistering genius!"
But no, there isn't. I looked at all the entries. I looked around for it on the Internet and also came up empty handed, though I did come across an interesting essay by Orwell about P.G. Wodehouse.
"That's outrageous!" You cry. "Why, I would occasionally like to read a few unpopular short essays of blistering genius!"
Which is why, even though you strictly publish:
___ Books about dogs
___ Folktales of the world
___ Erotica for cats
___ Movie novelizations
___ Instruction manuals for people incapable of learning from instruction manuals
___ Soccer biographies in Spanish
___ The work of James Patterson
___ Hastily produced knock-offs of bestsellers
___ Glossy cookbooks of recipes featuring a minimum of 200 ingredients each
___ Toileting instruction manuals for toddlers
___ Earnest books
___ Gorgeously written works of University English Professors that win many awards only to be abruptly forgotten
___ The ghostwritten work of people on TV
___ Zombie vampire cowboy books
I am sending you along my work. I think you will enjoy it, and this is the only way you will ever get a chance to read it as it isn't the sort of thing that gets published.
Good luck in all your endeavors,