And This is the Problem With Publishing

Normally, I’d save this sort of post for Mad Genius Club. I’ve been trying to keep this blog a bit lighter and more focused on my own writing. However, after reading this over on The Passive Voice, I knew I needed to speak up. You see, traditional publishing (as representede by The American Association of Publishers) has declared its “role” in our country in the coming years.

“We look forward to collaborating closely with the administration in the years ahead as we work to ensure that the publishing industry continues to make major contributions to our culture and economy, and that our members can fulfill their missions, promoting literature and poetry as engines of enlightened understanding, supporting education as a proven road to prosperity, and advancing scholarship and science as means of expanding our understanding of the world around us, and effectively addressing issues ranging from the current pandemic to climate change, in the process uniting our country.”

There are so many things wrong with this statement. But here are a few:

AAP looks forward to “Collaborating closely with the administration”.

What? When did the publishing industry become the mouthpiece of any administration? I thought books–and therefore the industry–were meant to spur critical thinking and the questioning of the status quo. They are supposed to remind us of history, point out the strengths AND THE WEAKNESSES of our leaders. Non-fiction is to educate, not indoctrinate. How in hell does “collaborating closely with the administration” encourage any of this?

But it gets better. . . or worse, depending on your point of view.

AAP and its members will “work to ensure that the publishing industry continues to make major contributions to our culture and economy.”

Pardon me while I laugh hysterically. To start, how is it making “major contributions” to our culture when it is an active collaborator in rewriting history? How can they say this when they aren’t standing up when schools, bending under pressure from the Woke Crowd, decide to no longer teach the classics because they offend some delicate flower’s sensibilities. Guess what, folks, life today is different from what it was a century or more ago. We’ve progressed. Yes, we still have a way to go–it’s called being human–but how to we prevent falling back into the old ways if we don’t know what they were and what the dangers of those ways are?

Then there’s the truly laughable bit about how the industry will continue to make a major contribution to our economy. Are they high? I want whatever they were smoking, drinking or otherwise embibing when they wrote that. The publishing industry is notorious for dragging its heels when needing to change their business plans and how they operate. That is why there are only five major publishers now. It is why those houses, and smaller ones as well, have shuttered imprints. It is why they charge two and three–and more–times the price for an e-book than small presses and indies. They hate the new technology and instead of embracing it to expand their share of the market, do their best to throttle it.

Oh, and back to spreading culture, if these publishers were really worried about that, they wouldn’t be financially raping libraries with outrageous fees for ebooks.

The rest of that one paragraph? Nothing but pandering to the government, promising to be a mouthpiece to our DC overlords, like it or not.

Do you notice what is missing?

There is nothing about questioning authority. There is nothing about offering up new scientific theories or helping teach critical thinking. There is nothing about individual development. There is nothing about entertaining readers. No, it is about “unifying” us.

In other words, AAP wants the publishing industry to be another arm of the propaganda machine the MSM has become.

I don’t want a publishing industry worried about unifying the country. That isn’t its job. I want a publishing industry willing to take risks, in the boardroom and in the bookstore. I want books that make me thing, that challenge me. I want novels that entertain me. If I want a sermon, I’ll go to church. I don’t want a sanitized version of history. I want to learn from the mistakes of the past. I want to know the warts in Congress, on both sides of the political aisle.

Unity is for church. Unity is for our politicians to strive for. . . through negotiation, not indoctrination. Unity is NOT for publishing, not in a free nation.

We should be happy to see these sorts of decrees. It helps us know which publishers to avoid.

Featured Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay


    1. Worse, they’ve done so willingly. They didn’t need to be brought to heel. They bent their knee and abdicated their role as watch dogs for what they hope will be a comfortable–and powerful–life.

  1. “In other words, AAP wants the publishing industry to be another arm of the propaganda machine the MSM has become.”

    That’s because the AAP is actually three SJW midgets wearing the hollowed out skin, demanding respect.

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