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What The Big Boys Can Do

September 21, 2010

What the big boys can do is stuff like afford to send out hundreds of copies to "reviewers," whether they actually review books or not. They can take out ads to promote books in magazines and newspapers that the people who would like those books will never see. They can afford to send large shipments of books as donations to the army and libraries because after all they need the tax write off.

The tax write off a small press would get for the same thing wouldn't pay for half of the books they'd give away. Most small presses don't need a tax write off; they aren't making enough money to pay taxes and have all the write offs they need. It's called working in the red.

            The big houses can afford to schedule book tours and pay editors and top writers ungodly sums of money. They can get hundreds of books in thousands of stores and they can make three or four writers rich.

            What they can't or won't do—Spend time or money on someone or something new and different because it might not sell. If they happen take something new and different with a vast potential they will bury it in the back somewhere where no one can find it.

            Writers change their names all the time just to get away from bad numbers. This is a trend I can not stand because it has nothing at all to do with the actual readers and everything to do with fooling the bean counters into thinking the writer is someone else.

            All bullshit.

            And you know who's worse than the big guys? The Indies and small presses that pretend they can do things they simply can not do. They make all the same mistakes the big boys make without the money to pull their asses out of the fire.

            When you're an Indie or small press you can't afford to have a book fail. But they will do all the same shit the big boys do because... Well they want to look like the big boys. It's all about what things look like and not the way they really are.

            The truth is that such practices have landed the entire publishing industry into the same pile of poo the whole country is in—and all for the same reason.

            Big business has been stupidly squandering resources, paying obscene wages to people who make the mistakes that are killing their companies while they stiff their workers.

            And everyone—every single person in this country—seems to think they have to live exactly like those big-shot bastards who get paid more money than God to sit on their asses and make one mistake after another. The mistakes that never seem to cost them a damn thing but which are ruining all of us.

            In publishing, big houses have forgotten about their writers and their readers. It's all about the profits not about the product. They will find one thing, get behind it, and... We wind up with a society that has all read the same three books. Small and Indie houses too often try to pretend to be something they aren't, but without the buckets of money that the big houses have to waste they don't last long and many times do more harm to the authors than the big houses do. After all, at least at a big house a writer gets a big, fat advance.

            What's wrong with publishing is the same thing that's wrong with every business in this country—and every family—big shots doing nothing and screwing everyone and everything to get more and more. Meanwhile, everyone is else living on credit and way above their means in an attempt to look like the better half.

            It's way past time for people to start looking at what they really have instead of what the bank and creditors actually own. Why do we want to be or look like the despicable bastards who have ruined our country? For once let's all just sit down and ask ourselves what we really, actually need instead of what we think everyone else expects us to have.

            I am as guilty as everyone else because I really want the big career. Couldn't care less about fancy clothes or a bunch of slick shit, I'd just like to sell so many books that everyone would know my name. I'd like for my work to be huge. I'd be happy to make fifteen thousand dollars a year (originally it was five and then ten—inflation you know). I'd be ecstatic if I made twenty thousand, and I'd be way above where I ever thought I'd be and be able to give buckets of money away to the things I care about if I made thirty.

            To not want much, to be one of the few people willing to live within my means and still not be able to make it is disheartening, and this is where a lot of us are right now. We've lived with our belts tight and watched every penny and done without the things other people think are a necessity. Now after a lifetime of working and sacrifice what do we have to show for it? Nothing—or at least nothing like what we want. There is no pay off because big business has taken everything over and ruined it, and though we might not be in the same hole others who exceeded their incomes are in we are still in the hole with no way to dig ourselves out.

            See... if you create a problem you can fix it. We didn't create this problem. This problem was created by rich idiots who were hell bent on turning us all into joyless work drones. The pillar they hide behind is the "free enterprise system," but there is no free enterprise when the corporations rule the world. Just try to start a small business now. See if you can compete with Wal-Mart, Books a Million or Home Depot.

            They have fed us this crap that if the rich have more it will trickle down to us and all will prosper. This was proven dead wrong in the Reagan administration, it has certainly failed during the Bush administration, and yet we currently have a candidate that is once again telling us that giving the rich more and deregulating them further will save this economy. Excuse me, but didn't the Bush administration give a huge tax break to the rich when he took office? If that didn't stimulate the economy—and in case you haven't noticed it didn't—then why would taxing the rich and making them pay what we all pay, hurt the economy?

            And how come when big business takes a hit the tax payers are asked to bail them out but when we take a hit there is nothing for us?

            Come on; listen to what he is really saying. He's going to do this and he's going to do that which is going to cost this much and that much and then he's going to cut taxes to everyone but especially the rich because it will trickle down. Do the math, where is that money going to come from? Where is the money to pay our ever-growing debt going to come from? He will go on and on about ear marks and cutting pork-barrel projects and yet if you gathered every one of these together you'd see very quickly that a whole year of these isn't what we spend in Iraq in a month. You know Iraq, a war we never should have entered in the first place which has allowed terrorists to thrive again in Afghanistan and made Iran a threat because... Well while we were fighting the Iraqis they couldn't fight Iran and so Iran had lots of money and energy to put into figuring out how to kill us.

            He wants to stay in Iraq to stabilize the region even though every indication is that it has destabilized the entire area and made our real enemies stronger. He doesn't care how long it takes or how many people die. He needs to stop worrying about how much we spent studying bears and the over head projector and think about the real cost of this war.

            McCain will most likely win. He'll win because people vote party lines and other people will just believe anything they are told on Fox News. And if Obama does win I don't know that he will be able to fix the mess we are in. Whoever gets in I think it's fair to say that they are walking into one of the worst times to run this country in its history.

            I heard a guy yesterday saying that if we voted for Obama we were turning our country into a socialist state. I don't know if that's true. I don't know what he will be able to do or if he can do anything. I do fully believe that if McCain gets in he will Christianize our country further, and we will all be living in a sort of Company Country in which we will owe our souls to the Company Store.

            If you are even thinking of the “suicide vote”—where you just vote for some third-party candidate because you don't like either of the ones they've given us—take a minute to remember that the “suicide vote” is what got us into this position in the first place. It's how we wound up with Bush. Now if you are happy with Bush, if you think that what has happened in this country isn't his fault, then... I don't think there is any talking to you except to say I'm not sure you live in the same country that I do.

Selina

If you enjoy these bitches, please contact Selina directly at selinarosen@cox.net. Thanks!

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