26 April 2011

Penguin Group Starts New "Writing Community"

Just saw this in a NYTimes article.* Writers have been forming collectives themselves for ages, but now a major press is doing it for them. For Penguin, clearly it is intended to be a low-cost bush league. Why spend the money to work through slush piles and coach developing writers when you can get others to do it for you?

*Tip of the day: If you run of out monthly free views for the New York Times, just start up an anonymous session on your Web browser. An anonymous session clears your cookie cache and resets your view counter.


Mister Fweem said...

This is interesting -- I've had an editor tell me that the last thing you want to do with your unpublished manuscript is to put it online somewhere, because many publishers/agents/what have you will then consider it published as far as first use goes, and then, fi they're interested, they'll give you a lowball offer.

But then as the article says, this is the bush leagues. Lowball offers may be all that 99.9 percent of those seeking a publishing deal can expect

carl g said...

My only experience is in academic publishing, but we break our own rules all the time. Anyway, I think publishers are less interested in single titles than cultivating profitable authors. Sure, they may lowball or even pass on something that's been passed around a lot, but what about the next five books they publish because of it?

My theory, you know, is that increasingly authors will have to prove themselves through self-publishing or these writing collectives or something similar before publishers will be interested. They want a low-cost and risk-free ROI.