The melange

I got to thinking (while supposedly working on the newest Bolg) that a good author is something like a giant anti-computer taking a vast miscellany of data and turning it into garbage. Then I thought I could probably think of something more respectable to say about my profession. After a while and some hard thought… well, okay, sometimes first impressions are right.

Still… we do assemble in our heads (or at least I do) disparate bits of information, and sometimes string together things which more narrowly focused disciplines wouldn’t see. They were sparked a little while back by a discussion of Tarot on the sf writers group I belong to. After a little while I concluded that your chances of selling sf/fantasy were much better if you gave tarot readings, collected the cards and were a second generation pagan. Looking at the US census, this doesn’t make shedloads of sense. The market, in broad terms should reflect the overall demographic profile of English readers and the US in particular. This isn’t to say that doing/being any of these things makes you not likely to be a great writer. It’s just that – unless I am wildly wrong and the US census is too… the chances are (using wiccan and pagan, lumped, which I don’t think they’d like) 1:300. So to find a bunch in group of less than 300, says that it works in their favor… or that it is associated with (collateral to) something else that does. Whether that is with writing, readers, or agents and editors is another question.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “The melange

  1. Well, I can say for sure that not believing in any kind of superstition has certainly done nothing for my career as a writer. Maybe it’s time for me to start? 😉

    • I actually think it’s at least partly at the root of the problem of why publishing is in such strife. If the authors aren’t (viewed en masse) at all demographically typical of the whole population… something is skew. My conclusion is adopt a far out religion, a way out political stance, but be white and female and under 35 is about the best odds. But I have no figures to back that one 🙂

  2. Bah, I’m over 10 years too old for that one. I could try doing an L Ron Hubbard and inventing my own religion. That made him a whole lot more money than his writing ever did 😀

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