I don't know what to make of this - publishers asking the public to bet on bestsellers. On the one hand, it would open up to the public what they do now, which is try to figure out what the public wants without actually consulting the public.

On the other hand, I'd much rather be asked which book I'd like to read, not which book is likely to sell the most copies. This approach just seems to keep pushing away the question of what readers - real readers - actually like and gets the public involved in the same guesswork now done by publishers.

And it emphasizes the whole home run approach rather than celebrating the diversity that we can enjoy with books.

What do you think?

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I do dislike popularity votes and campaigning for them. That goes for bestsellerdom and awards. There's something very slimy about the process. Somewhat reminicent of politics.
The whole "Media predict" thing sounds like the same old cons ... "Gee, new author that's a great idea, you might not win this, but I think you've got sometlhing. For only $2,500,-- Blah, Blah, Blah ...."
Hi everyone! A quick question from a novice - does anyone think that something like Media Predict could actually lead to someone tremendously talented getting published? Someone who would otherwise be lost in the steady flood of manuscripts, editors, agents, publishers. Since the current way of getting, or rather trying to get, published works the way it does is there any other possible way to go about it or is that just wishful thinking?
I don't honestly know, but I very much doubt it. You could just as easily say "it's tough to get a recording contract, maybe American Idol will give me a way to break through." Your chances aren't that great. And it becomes a media event itself that sucks its energy from people wanting to follow their dreams (or dump on people for being losers publicly; we can be really nasty people, sometimes).

Looking at the company's website, it seems as if there's no intrinsic motivation to "play" other than if you have a vested interest. The emphasis is totally on volunteering to spend time and energy on predicting winners from a tiny pool on the basis of a proposal - it has nothing to do with discovering good books. I very much doubt talent has anything to do with it. Though betting fake dollars on your buddies probably does.

At the moment, if I'm understanding the site, there are no mysteries there, no thrillers, two SF titles, one of which is agented and the other is ... a joke? It's by Stephen Colbert, supposedly. Somehow I don't think he needs the buzz.
Thanks for your thoughts. I agree with you concerning media predict. I was only thinking that there must be a way to find the really good books out there someway besides going the normal route. Agents and editors can be really nasty too - often without reading the manuscript. And more often than not the established players aren't always about finding the good books either - more about making money. Somehow, somewhere I think that the idea that a truly good book will also make money got lost and more and more shit gets published. Chicklit, bad crime, self-help bullshit etc that hasn't been properly edited and is not really worth publishing but is easy reading that will sell a required amount.
Yeah... publishing has always been about making a profit. Luckily some folks in the business also love good books (and so do many readers, booksellers, librarians, etc.) and a lot of really good books do get published. But there are no doubt plenty that don't get published since they don't get that freak convergence of quality, right timing, and sheer luck.

That said, there are more ways to publish books than ever ... nearly 300,000 last year .... but that means more books competing for attention that isn't growing at the same rate.

Yikes, I'm making myself seasick....
Yes a lot of books get published- but the question is - what kind of books are they? It seems that to get published today you need to have a network (hated word), be a whiz at socializing, pr, marketing etc and be able to write a certain format that fits the current demand. What about all the geeks who just want to write. How do they compete - regardless of how good their book is- do they stand a a chance? Maybe there is another way that doesn't involve to much cookie pushing and just focuses on the quality of the writing. I don't know. I am open to new ideas I just don't know how. I mean look at all the great authors who first couldn't get published - someone turned them down just as I am sure other great writers get turned down regularly today.
Well - I'm a geek who didn't know anybody but I had a bit of luck. So it does happen, though it's truly, deeply fluky. And involves a high ratio of rejection to one bit of luck.


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