John Sayles, Oscar-nominated creator of “Return of the Secaucus 7,” “Lone Star,” “Matewan” and other movies, is having trouble getting a book deal.
The situation is almost entirely traceable to the publishing industry’s economic woes, and it’s raising eyebrows, because Sayles was an accomplished fiction writer long before he made his first film. Weighing in at a whopping 1,000 typed pages, “Some Time in the Sun” is his first novel since 1990’s “Los Gusanos.”
“This is really astonishing,” says Ron Hogan, senior editor of Galleycat.com, a website devoted to publishing news. “I mean, this is John Sayles! You’d think there would be some editor who’d be proud to say, ‘I brought the new John Sayles novel to this house.'”
Raise your hands, all of you who have read a John Sayles novel.
Cue the crickets.
OK, I thought so.
See, Sayles, there’s this thing now called the Internet. And these other things called eBooks.
You, John Sayles, have the stature, visibility, and savvy to help push the needle away from the dying dinosaurs of print towards the eBook future:
What needs to happen:
ONE eBook gains a Word of Mouth (WOM) reputation
(Note: there are over 16 million eBook devices now [iPhone/Touch])
– genuine word of mouth or PR-assisted?
— PR-assisted cannot move something that’s shit
— only genuine WOM matters
— WOM moved The Fountainhead in 1940s
Unknown contributing(?) factor: Blog Book Tours
An eBook with WOM cachet and must-read-ness that’s available only as an eBook (in a format that cannot be printed out) could help push the needle from print books to eBooks
WOM must be of such scale to achieve Internet escape velocity
– must enter mainstream culture, not be confined to Internet Culture
If you believe in your book, put up or shut up.
Help move that needle, Sayles, and stop feeling sorry for yourself.
No one out here is feeling sorry for you.