Publishing Green

John Green has an interesting opinion when it comes to publishing. In an article on The Gaurdian’s website, they discuss why Green will never self-publish, quoting him in saying that book publishing requires collaboration.

He is quoted saying, “We must strike down the insidious lie that a book is the creation of an individual soul labouring in isolation. We must strike it down because it threatens the overall quality and breadth of American literature,” he said. “They hold me up as an example but I am not an example of publishers or bookstores extracting value because without an editor my first novel, Looking for Alaska, would have been unreadably self-indulgent.”

I think this is really intriguing to hear, especially after all the hype surrounding self publishing in our modern era. It makes sense to be invested in the sort of team effort Green discusses, especially since he himself is very invested in this idea of community.

I also believe his idea of the “isolation” surrounding writing is an idea similar to that of the “Romantic Writer” discussed in an earlier posting by Jasmine.

John Green On Self Publishing Click Image for Video/article

I also found this part of an interview with Green interesting and quarky and worth sharing. I believe it relates to the subject of publishing experiences:

     Q. Do you talk about what you’re working on with your editor or wife?

A. Yes, both. I’ve been working with my editor and publishing, Julie Strauss-Gabel, for more than a decade now, and I often show her scraps and chapters and excerpts and all variety of unfinished things. But when I get on a roll, she usually doesn’t hear from me for a while, because I like to send her at least something of a finished manuscript once we agree that I’m on the right track.I also read a lot to my wife, Sarah, who has informed and shaped all my books in uncountable ways. (Many of the most quoted lines in books are actually Sarah’s, and in general our conversations about art and meaning and everything else are hugely important to me.)

2 thoughts on “Publishing Green

  1. rdomitz March 16, 2015 / 3:33 am

    While I understand Green’s stance on the strength his work gains from the efforts of his publishers, I don’t agree with this “isolated writer” concept of his. We’ve read about authors receiving support from their spouses, their mentors, or their favorite authors. Publishing does not require collaboration in the way he specifies, as the aforementioned are such proof. Moreover, are not intimate or personal memoirs, novels, and poems often successful page turners? His “first novel, Looking for Alaska, would have been unreadably self-indulgent.” might’ve not be because of isolation but rather that it was his first novel, and he didn’t know what to do? I just think that every writer is different, and I can think of a handful of successful books published with relatively minimal collaboration.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. awebb8 March 21, 2015 / 1:18 am

    I found the same article when I was doing research and loved it! I love his i deal of community and isolation. I think its good to seek help or even advice from other writers. When i was going through most of the FAQ on his website, I would find myself giggling at some of the answers he responded with. I love the fact that he involves his wife in his writing and editing.


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