Risks are being taken. More than this, they’re being rewarded. With the growth of independent presses, prizes and the rising number of literary journals, there’s been something of a tide change in the profile of innovative novels. Challenging writing is not only being produced, it’s finding an audience.
So says a recent article in The Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/aug/20/hard-books-literary-experimentaion-popularity-shrinking-market
Anyone who’s ever tried to pitch a book to a publisher only to be asked to classify it into a genre and to name a similar book that’s sold well can take heart from Paul Kingsnorth, whose novel The Wake, written in a made-up version of Old English, has just been longlisted for the Man Booker. The Wake was rejected by conventional publishers, who asked if it couldn’t be rewritten in English, but published by Unbound which, as Kingsnorth says in this BBC interview, is
a new kind of publisher. The way it works is, in order to get the book published on its initial print run, you have to have enough potential readers pledging to support the book financially.
A great idea? Gert thinks so.