People who claim that there are readers slavering to get their hands on previously rejected books always seem to have a previously rejected book to peddle; maybe they're correct in their assessment, but they're far from impartial. Readers themselves rarely complain that there isn't enough of a selection on Amazon or in their local superstore; they're more likely to ask for help in narrowing down their choices. So for anyone who has, however briefly, played that reviled gatekeeper role, a darker question arises: What happens once the self-publishing revolution really gets going, when all of those previously rejected manuscripts hit the marketplace, en masse, in print and e-book form, swelling the ranks of 99-cent Kindle and iBook offerings by the millions? Is the public prepared to meet the slush pile?
either experienced slush or you haven't, and the difference is not
trivial. People who have never had the job of reading through the heaps
of unsolicited manuscripts sent to anyone even remotely connected with
publishing typically have no inkling of two awful facts: 1) just how
much slush is out there, and 2) how really, really, really, really
terrible the vast majority of it is. Civilians who kvetch about the bad
writing of Dan Brown, Stephenie Meyer or any other hugely popular but
critically disdained novelist can talk as much trash as they want about
the supposedly low standards of traditional publishing. They haven't
seen the vast majority of what didn't get published -- and
believe me, if you have, it's enough to make your blood run cold,
thinking about that stuff being introduced into the general population.
-- Laura Miller, writing in Salon