Readers rock publishing industry

Some time ago my novel was rejected on the basis that it contained a message, something that is, apparently, abhorrent to American readers.

Literary agent:

I think I had best say no thank you to reading The Fifth Internationale. From my experience in agenting political thrillers, especially those with a message, I find the American market extremely difficult. American publishers, unlke the Europeans, only want thrillers to entertain their readers. They don't care if a novel has a message.

[...] it is exceedingly difficult to take on a new novelist writing out of a desire to explore political problems and world events in this genre. If you want to discuss and investigate the burning issues of the day, you had best do this in non-fiction.

It is proving to be a contributing factor in the troubles faced by big publishing houses. Readers are not as dumb as publishers think or want them to be. A message in literature, whether serious works or commercial, seems as important now as it ever was (but was overlooked but those who think it is their role to tell what we must read).


Contrary to death knell hyperbole of many pundits, we are entering a publishing epoch. Cause publishing, a vital trend being set by the independents, holds the future of the printed word. But in order to reinvent its influence on society, the big houses must follow the lead of the independent scene. Now is the time to take risks, and the investment necessary to take these risks isn’t just about money; its about making a personal connection with readers. From raising proceeds to raising awareness, literary activism is fast-becoming the new arbiter of cool.

Cause. It's the message, and it aims at engaging the reader. Not at dumbing him down, as some want to.

Simplicity is key: focus on community and there is no telling the ripple effect that you could have. And its worth noting that none of this is new news:  with or without the big publishing houses support, we will always be here, NFP and individuals alike dedicated to enriching our culture and community through books. But if cause publishing is to sustain itself, it is time the big houses take notice: invest in us.

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