As Mel Campbell says, ‘writing isn’t a zero-sum game’. It would be naive to think that Morrissey’s novel was published at the expense of a nascent writer’s novel. Nowhere was there a publisher holding Morrissey’s manuscript in one hand and mine in the other, weighing the benefits of each, grimacing over their decision because there was only one spot left on their list. List of the Lost was always going to be published. And for good reason: Morrissey’s novel has the delightful characteristic of generating income for a publisher with very little effort. (By allowing List of the Lost to go through in what seems to be its native, naked, un-amended glory, Penguin even saved themselves the cost of a copyeditor!)
And a publisher making money is a good thing – for everyone in the industry, but especially for nascent writers. The money extracted from sure-things (in this case, the cool, crisp notes confiscated from the wallets of gen X Morrissey fans) is money that might just, possibly, you never know, be used to take a gamble on an unsolicited submission from some no-name nascent.
Allan Drew on publishing.
There’s even a brief extract from the book at the link. It is. Um. Interesting.