Friday, July 16, 2010

Dear Publisher (#dearpublisher): Please Publish Me

Okay, I couldn't resist the cheeky play on words in my title.  But it was amazing to see the #dearpublisher hashtag in Twitter completely take off a couple of days ago, as well as the continued updates flowing into that stream.

And it all started with a publisher (HarperPerennial) via a Twitter response to a writer/blogger/bookseller (jennIRL), suggesting the #dearpublisher hashtag with words reminiscient of Doctor Frasier Crane:  "We're listening."

Check out details regarding this via The Guardian, GalleyCat and BookNinja.

The book nerd part of me is delighted to see such an open and dynamic conversation begin. And on a cool sidenote, publishers not wanting to get all caught up in tension and answering controversial questions that can't properly be handled in 140 characters or less have even addressed many questions, concerns and comments stemming from this popular hashtag on their own blogs.  (See Windmill Books, for a good example)

And there have been some absolutely amazing comments, questions and concerns, many of which have gotten retweeted.

But the flip side of me wonders at the sheer volume of unsolicited advice, suggestions, questions and comments publishers are opened up to via this new channel and can't help imagining that the slush pile of unsolicited submissions on their plates has now doubled or tripled. 

Although the good news for them is that it doesn't take as long to consider 140 characters of text as it does to consider the novel proposal package for someone's magnum opus.  That, and the retweet "filter" allows the less slushy comments to "rise" to the top.


Stroppy Author said...

I'd take issue with the last para. It's often easy to tell in the first 140 characters if the magnum opus submission is totaly crap :-)

Mark Leslie said...

Excellent point.

By the time they reach 140 characters in the gigantic submission package, they likely already have enough evidence to either keep reading or stop. (Perhaps it even takes longer to open the envelope than make that decision)