PUBLISHERS

I was asked today if I’d ever work with Publishers again! When you try something like Phoenix you are often faced with your own potential hypocrisy, or basic need to survive, and despite half wanting to attack the cynicism of the system, I’ve been trying hard to work with publishers, still, though the climate’s awful. I knew I had gone over the top in America though, and it came out of a battle with Macmillan here, and something so personal too, but it is all about working well with people, and many people mattering in that. About respecting what others do too, although there were deep personal reasons for my loss of respect in New York. There may be a hierarchy in that structure that I think is being abused, namely care of the artists you buy, even over the power of editors, and the need to always explain things, but if a work is succeeding, actually good publishers always want to follow it. They may follow the big sellers far too much, and at the expense of more valuable or even better work, but that is markets and probably life. What I do despise is either hypocrisy, or far too much politics in the frame, and it applies above all to agents who can be remarkable bottom feeders. But from the days of forcing too big an advance at Macmillan on a third novel, at a tough time, then leaving my agent and forgetting the work is what matters first, and the readers, I’ve learnt a great deal. At the moment, I would give my eye teeth to be supported, in a way I can’t do properly here , and to be ‘allowed’ to write well again and see that published well. DCD

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