Non-Fiction has one of the highest degrees of contrast in variation as each topic can shift from dry and factual to emotional and vivid. This book sits right in the middle, giving a critical eye to the history of publishing in the UK and American markets, but carrying a strong but veiled vein of iron resolve behind each passage.
Slated for January 2018 release - Pre-Orders avail now: Amazon
- The History of British and American Author-Publishers (Anna Faktorovich)
- Anaphora Literary Press
- 368 pages
- ISBN: 978-1-68114-373-6
- ISBN-13: 978-1-68114-374-3 (Hardcover) / 978-1-68114-375-0 (ebook)
- LCCN: 2017950922
Author-Publishers is a deep fact study that sets out to describe a number of complex topics.
This study sets the stage for readers to understand that the big four publishing conglomerates control the publishing universe as it stands today. The conglomerates themselves have such a stranglehold on approval, that it is nearly impossible for authors to break out when their stories are closer to the human wellspring than formulaic butter churner novels. All of the authors in this book (eg Woolf, Melville, Dickens) were found to be heavily invested in self-promotion, publication, and frequently defied censorship of the growing print empires by releasing their own work. Most of them were then subsequently cannibalized into the larger whole, regardless of the effort.
While reasonable and allowable, there is a heavy-handed vibe that borderlines pushy in Author-Publisher's perspective that self-publish get a bad rap on all fronts. It then repeatedly beats home that all authors discussed were self-published and how the universe is better by proxy (which is actually true in my opinion). This borderline commentary does not mean that the Author-Publisher study is incorrect, instead that Faktorovich is heavily vested and passionate about her perspective. As she herself is a co-op publisher and holds close relation to the other authors discussed by shared experience, the undeniable perspective makes sense. Faktorovich benefits from history in the facts that she is not leading the call to war, inciting social flames, nor being mentally or physically tortured in order to allow her work to be crafted. The inquisition is unlikely to hunt her or brand her insane, but she may not be making great friends pointing out items such as the Harpers publishing world being built off blatant piracy.
While the publishing world itself might have a derisive and vocal perspective of self-published works in it's elitist core, most readers could care less. The general population holds a completely separate view of self-publishing, which the publishers and authors have full control of. Our perspective can be swayed. We are looking for properly priced and well-edited work which entertains or feeds our souls in some way. In my experience, many non-conglomerate works are well crafted, but frequently they are fraught with editing mistakes which could have been avoided, thus retaining the book's illusion. It is painful to be ripped from the text to decipher an editing flaw, spelling error, or grammar which could be corrected in advance with minor oversight by a couple of trusted individuals or actual editors. Poor editing or presentation can take a great book and force it into mediocrity simply by being unreadable.
Additionally, 'The History of British and American Author-Publishers' delves into the mysterious deaths of many self-published greats. I found that the common thread was the poor quality of healthcare, over burdened medical egos, and archaic medical practices compared to modern times. Surely, there are correlations made which undeniably drive the reader toward plausible shady or conspiratorial behaviors. I shudder at the thought of having a seton installed to stabilize my wild moods or (were my gender swapped) be placed on significant unrestricted drugs and electroshock as a method to regulate the simple genetics of being female. The only true flaw I found in this book was part of this malpractice segmentation. A tangent on Michael Jackson included proving merit to malpractice even in modern times was ill fitting and annoyed me beyond description.
Long and short: If you are looking for a primer on the historical greats, advice on a thousand new non-fiction 'must read' topics to research on Wikipedia, or critical and solid advice on how to succeed via a non-conglomerate publishing avenue (by avoiding historic mistakes), you should look into snagging a copy of this. It is a bit depressing to identify with great authors by reading deep details of their pain and failures, but there is a degree of pity that once reached is actually quite inspiring.
Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the Author or Publisher for review purposes. You can bet on the fact my perspective will be unbiased regardless of source, but when you are presented with a bottle stating drink me or object marked eat me, I would suggest you do neither. Instead, perform some quick research to ensure that they are not mislabeled. Both could be nothing more than frog spit mixed with glitter disguised as magical and extraordinary so check your ingredients.