“Take A Chance On Me”

by Heather Clark

Publishing and writers. They seem to go a bit hand-in-hand. But as we dove into the past of the publishing industry, we found that that is not always theTyping Office Typewriter Paper Machine Type case.

The snippet “From Gutenberg to the Internet” discussed the very beginnings of the printing press. While it didn’t really talk about the relationship between publishers and writers, it starts out a battle for patents. But that’s just the beginning.

Fast forward to the nineteenth century in America, while America was branching away from the British, they still relied on them for a lot. Including their books! Copy write laws didn’t exist at the time so American publishers would rather print British novels and other works over unknown American authors. Imagine that nowadays? Imagine if great American writers like Faulkner and Hemingway were never able to publish their classic works. Books would be very different now and there would probably be a lot less of them.

Then came the time of magazines and small literature publications. Authors, who would otherwise never be printed, had the chance to be printed. Publishers broke away and started to take risks on lesser known writers attempting to find poets and authors that could become the next best author.

Now, there are a lot of printers, big and small. Some authors even participate in Poem Stores where a customer pays for a poem to be written about them. As we learned in “The Ends of the Book: Reading, Economies & Publics,” some publishers, typically smaller ones, will print as many books as are ordered by customers so that nothing goes to waste. Not to mention these authors can’t be in it for the money, since there isn’t all that much.

The relationship between publishing and writers was rocky for a time, but it has grown to be a pretty strong one. Authors can have more confidence sending their pieces to publishers and publishers can feel confident in taking risks on newer authors.

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3 thoughts on ““Take A Chance On Me”

Add yours

  1. Hi! I really love the message you are trying to convey with your blog post. I too believe that the relationship between author and publishers are rocky and unpredictable. I love your brief use of history to tie in the relationship between the two and also the connection to the text we are reading in class, Literary Publishing in the Twenty First Century. I have just two, simple suggestions. If you were to take them, I think expanding more on the present relationship of publishers vs writers would make your perspective of that said relationship more focused. I think the snippet of history you gave was a great choice. But I would like to hear more of your opinion on what is happening now. My second suggestion would just to tweak the title. I think it’s catchy, it caught my eye but was it to portray the publishers taking a chance on authors work? That’s what I’m assuming. But, other than that, great job! I love the easy-going tone of your post. Very friendly and personal. -Lilly 🙂


  2. Hey,
    I like the take on small magazines and how it differentiated from themes of other blogs (like mine) that included mainly just a comparison between the beginnings of the printing press and the advancement of electronic readings.
    I think if you were to go more in depth with the idea of the Poem Stores and other ways small authors try to get their voices and work out besides actual publishing. Maybe if you also looked into or incorporated more from the essay on how much an author does make just with writing, it might give more of a heavy impact and more of an insight mainly to the world of a writer.
    Good job! This was great to read.


  3. Heather, you provide a good overview of the publishing history we focused on. That said, I’d like to see a bit more of *your* take on this all. I can see the start of this in your post (your comments on the relationship between publishers and authors), but we need a little more of your unique perspective on this. What *should* the relationship between these entities be? Is the author or the publisher in a better (or worse) position today? Taking a bit more of a stand on questions like this will help nudge the post from the informative to the persuasive.


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