The zombie rage rages on and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies caught the vampire-backlash-zombie-wave at just the right time.
It’s interesting to me how, when first introduced, a terrible idea and a brilliant one are often indistinguishable. Finding just the right editor or agent to recognize an opportunity wrapped in an unsolicited manuscript at just the right time? It can be an amazingly long and difficult process.
As I think back on many of the publishers I’ve worked for, I can guarantee that many of them would have looked at the manuscript for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and cringed. I can hear them say, “You’re not going to believe this! Look at the kind of tripe we get in the slush pile!”
Of course, it’s a subjective business, but it is a business. Someone spotted opportunity in this book and now they’re making a boatload of money off of it. If you’ve a bit snooty, you may still look askance at books like this, but reading is a wide spectrum. There’s lots to read and fortunately, you get to choose.
Slush Pile Short Story
I once knew a publisher who, on our first meeting, wanted to impress upon me that his publishing house only printed “important” books. And he did. There were some literary gems on the list.
But the publisher had a narrow spectrum of books he was interested in. I asked several times if it would kill him to publish a popular cookbook and make some real money. I learned instead that he wanted to publish one kind of book. It had to be Canadian literature (and all that reputation entails) so he would have a list that wouldn’t make him blush at his next cocktail party in Rosedale.
High standards are laudable, but decreeing what the market should read while remaining deaf to what people do read is a formula for failure.
The moral of the story is this:
That hockey book that bores you, the vapid Sarah Palin book you loathe and that gardening book that’s a staple for three generations? Those sell. Slush pile submissions that publisher sneered at would have financed all those “important” books he’s not publishing anymore. He’s long since out of the business and many important books have gone unpublished for that sad loss.
I love important books. But, like most people, I like varied tastes to entertain my palate.
- Mike White To Officially Direct ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ (slashfilm.com)
- The Wait (rejecter.blogspot.com)
- Publishers, Authors, Agents, Retailers – One in the Same? (issues-in-publishing.blogspot.com)
- Internet, Terrorists, Lawyers Kill Slush Pile [Rip] (gawker.com)
- Indie publisher Quirk Books finds zombie success (ctv.ca)
- Rumor: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Totally Dead (escapistmagazine.com)
- ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’: Who should direct? (popwatch.ew.com)
- Mashing up children’s books with monsters (guardian.co.uk)
- PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES Film is Falling Apart (geektyrant.com)