I found an article that illustrated the publishing process as much different than I expected. The author outlines several points that she learned in the process of writing her book, Found in Translation. First, it’s noted that social media is a great outlet for getting a book deal from a major publisher. For this author, the use of social media was more effective than contacting publishing agents through a literary agent. This success may be attributed to, as the author notes, the fact that she had to propose her book idea in a “very concise paragraphs” in order for it to fit in the length requirement of LinkedIn, which was the site that she was using. Another interesting point that she made was that an agent is an essential part of the publication process with a major publishing company. I had never been sure what exactly an agent did that the author themselves couldn’t do, but apparently the legal jargon associated with a book contract is impressive. The author, who has some legal background, admits that she would have been lost in reading that contract and negotiating its terms without an agent.
Upon reading this article it became very apparent to me that I knew little, if almost nothing, of how to get published and what getting published entails. There are many factors to the whole process that I hadn’t even considered, and they are all very important. The most disheartening point that the author makes in this article is that integrity and creativity have to be partially sacrificed in the whole process. The publisher gets a major say in how the book looks and what it’s about–there must be an established platform that the book supports so that it can be expected to appeal to a corresponding established audience. Even though this author views the publisher’s influence as a welcome one, I’ve always felt that true art is created by one person for one person. If other people enjoy it, then so be it. Real, pure art can get compromised if too many people have their hands in it.