Wasserman vs. Resnick on genre publishing

[I]n certain genres (romance, science fiction and fantasy) formerly relegated to the moribund mass-market paperback, readers care not a whit about cover design or even good writing, and have no attachment at all to the book as object. Like addicts, they just want their fix at the lowest possible price, and Amazon is happy to be their online dealer.

—Some idiot named Steve Wasserman, in The Nation

OMG! This is such a relief! I’ve been so misled.

I can finally stop editing and taking pains to package my romance backlist well! NO ONE CARES! They’re just addicts!

I can finally stop editing and taking pains to package my fantasy backlist well! My readers don’t care about quality!

I can tell my dad, a science fiction writer, to relax and stop sweating over Hugo-quality material! No one cares! Science fiction readers are just junkies!

I can tell my publisher to stop spending all that money on my award-winning cover artist! An LA Times book reviewer has declared that it’s pointless! My readers are indifferent to brilliant cover art! We could probably just package the worthless sh*t that I write in a brown paper wrapper!

Whoa! So GLAD Mr. Wasserman enlightened me. The pressure to write well, the pressure on my editors to acquire and edit well, and the pressure on my cover artists and designers… Gone! It never mattered! Our readers our brain-dead junkies! Yay! What a RELIEF not to have to behave like REAL writers, editors, artists, and publishers, after all!

Laura Resnick

Laura Resnick on writing

Writing is like yoga.

It’s also like sex, cooking, parenthood, opera, war, gardening, and conjugating French verbs. But we’re going to go with the yoga analogy for now.

In my yoga class, my teacher tells me to think about my rib cage, my thigh muscles, my spine, my breath, my gaze, my ankles, my mouth, my cheeks, my hands, my balance, my toes, my belly, my kidneys, and The Universal. She also, at the same time, tells me to clear my mind and think of nothing. Then she tells me to stand on my left earlobe.

I’m sure the obvious parallels to writing are instantly apparent to you.

—Laura Resnick, Rejection, Romance, and Royalties