I understand that publishing is a business. A business must make sufficient income to keep its door open. I have said this often on my blog. But I came across a comment on a post over at Editorial Anonymous's blog that beautifully explained what that business is built on:-
'So, yeah, publishing is a business, but it's a business whose profits are derived, ultimately, from creative people's speculative, unsecured investment in themselves and the way readers respond to the results.'
The original post is here and the commenter is Working Illustrator (the whole comment is definitely worth a read).
We go in to it with our eyes open (mostly) and we work hard to produce something that will fit into that agent and/or publisher's business model. I have jumped the 'creative big tick' hurdle several times only to fall at the 'we can't guarantee we can sell enough copies' hurdle. I keep writing, keep trying, but I can't help wishing that on those occasions the publisher had taken that blind leap with me.
'For the writers, making that investment involves a kind of blind leap that - with all due respect - salaried editors and agents with multiple clients just don't have to make. I think you might have to be a little bit crazy to make it. It's not completely rational and it's certainly not just about the 'business'.
But without it, there isn't anything.'
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