Are publishers making the effort?
A book contains the power to change the world, even if the change is infinitesimal. Every novel, story collection or book of non-fiction; every autobiography, biography or memoir adds a little bit to the world of the knowable. The fiction book sometimes more than the non-fiction tells us about the world as it is. Fiction may be lies but it does take us towards the truth and non-fiction may claim to be true but it may not always be the truth. Books have changed the world and made it what it is. These days the multimedia has joined them in that task, still relying to a large extent on them, directly or not. It is the business of books to reflect the world truthfully, in all its camouflage as well as nakedness. Authors have always come forward to do their job with utmost seriousness. They must; it is unnatural for them not to. They often spend a lifetime digging out perceptions, visions, experiences, and theories to bring them before that part of the world which has lived life differently. There are careless authors, but there are also those that have cared and have yet died unseen, unknown. The ones brought to limelight are often those that have dwelt on a shallower ground. Self-publishing has therefore become a necessity. Not all self-publishing is good but some of it is like fresh air; thank God it has come to life.
Publishers will rush to bring to light books that have shown the rawer sides of Man. Thus everything related to war gets published easily. Or everything related to violence or upheaval. These are significant aspects of life but they may not be the highest or deepest levels to which human genius and consciousness progress. Everything dramatic, colourful, wicked, powerful, wealthy and spectacular is what the publisher looks for. Who is interested in how human nature works or what the emotional crises of ordinary people are? Human beings are often more interested in the animal side of life. The bigger the animal the more will it be noticed and watched. People do not have the patience to see the weaker species. Who, but the poet, likes to see a sparrow? The sad thing is that today’s publishers are very often supporting the view that might is right, the majority is right, wealth is right, easy money is even more so.
This is where the exceptional publishing editor comes in; editors like Simon Prosser. Such an editor looks at the best that has been thought and felt in the world and has the courage to stand up for it. He does not go in for only that which will sell, but that which will change the world. This breed of editors is getting fast extinct. Will someone do something to protect this species?