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Michaella McCollum and the publishing industry's cynicism

MANY people have expressed unease and outright revulsion at the prospect of Michaella McCollum earning up to £80,000 for a book and follow-up movie deal.

What I find harder to swallow is the increasingly cynical and exploitative nature of the publishing industry itself, which nowadays is far less interested in giving a platform to new talent (or what used to called "good writing") than in making a fast buck.

There are a lot of struggling and aspiring writers out there who could only dream of landing a deal like the one Michaella may secure following her release from prison.

Not that I begrudge her it in the slightest. She would be very foolish not to seize such a golden (if not exactly "Heaven-sent") opportunity and I'd much prefer to see someone profiting from a book deal than receiving illicit payouts from drug peddlers. I wish her every success in her dealings with the publishing industry.

Meanwhile, sadly, writers here and elsewhere will continue to open rejection letters and emails from literary agents and publishers informing them while the sample chapters of their work are "impressive" or "show promise" or "were a joy to read", it's not really marketable right now - unlike vampire/werewolf novels, badly written Fifty Shades-type drivel or the memoirs of a contrite (and visually stunning) cocaine smuggler.


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