Thursday, 5 August 2010

Dance Your Way To Psychic Sex

Anyone who has been here before will know that I’m not above the odd grumble about the state of the publishing industry. There’s a lot good about it. Still. Despite everything it seems to have done to drive itself into the ground.

But here is a perfect example of what it gets so wrong.

Read this review.

Go to this site.

This is a wonderful book. It is well-written, well-crafted, entertaining, humorous, quirky, and has a lot to say about human nature without shoving it down your throat in portentous fashion. Ideal if you ask me. But could it find a home with one of the big publishing houses? No. Did it deserve to be picked up by one of them? Yes. Unreservedly so.

So why was it not snapped up and subjected to a massive marketing drive? Not commercial enough, apparently. A bit too out of the ordinary.


It is true it isn’t a run-of-the-mill clone of six dozen other books. But frankly, and obviously, if you have read one of those, you have read them all.

Now I like my comfort zone. But only because it is a great base from which to explore. I want books to offer me something new each time I read. This doesn’t mean they have to be out-and-out genre-busting, taboo-busting, experimental works. I like those as well, but they need a context, and readers in general need a wide range.

And what this book manages is a superb balance between the familiar and the unusual.

So come on, people in publishing. Wake up. Go run barefoot in the grass. Live dangerously. Start thinking about what you are publishing and think of other factors up there beyond the bottom line. Yes, running profitably is important, but stop acting like a narrow-minded old boy’s club. We readers will buy what is published because we are hungry for stuff to read, but frankly the diet is getting beyond boring. Spice it up, boys before we all get literary malnutrition and start looking elsewhere for sustenance.

And you could do a damned site worse than buying yourself a copy of Dance Your Way To Psychic Sex, seeing what a great book is really like, and beating a path to the author’s door.