Thursday, February 3, 2011


Get it? "Era-gone"? Oh well.

How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways -- Actually, I don't hate this travesty, but it's certainly a great example of what's wrong with modern publishing. First let me say I know virtually nothing about the book except what I saw in the movie version's trailer -- that it is a rip off of both "Lord of the Rings" and "Star Wars" mushed into one. In other words, as the old-time pundit, printer's-ink-in-the-veins journalists would say, it's "strictly boilerplate."

Probably violating some Amazon copyright here.

According to Wikipedia, the incredibly talented and home-schooled Christopher Paolini began writing "Eragon" when he was 15, and it was first published in 2002 by his parents' company, Paolini International LLC, which had been formed only five years before. He then toured some 135 schools promoting the book, so the folks definitely had plenty of financial resources to invest in marketing. Eventually "the stepson of author Carl Hiassen found Eragon in a bookstore and loved it, and Hiaasen brought it to the attention of his publisher, Alfred A. Knopf", and the rest is history.

This is an odd twist on "it's who you know," which is an absolutely true platitude in publishing, and also in succeeding (financially) in any of the entertainment arts. No respected agent or publisher would ever have given a second look to a book written by a 15-year-old, but his own parents sure would. Also no school would ever have given time to an adult wanting to promote his fantasy book to a captive audience of kids, but another kid -- wow, that would be inspirational. Christopher cashed in on the money and grunt work his parents invested, and on his own youth to find a core market, one of whom had a connection with a real publisher. All this for a story that will be completely forgotten by the next generation.

So I guess I'm just jealous, because in truth it's exactly what I'm doing. I've got my own "publishing" company simply to give "The Job" an existence before my core audience, which is Christian reviewers and media in general. My real hope is that one member of that market will see the real worth of "The Job" and become its advocate. It's a total shot in the dark, but let's face it, God loves weakness, and there really couldn't be much of a weaker attempt than this. We'll see what He does with it.

It ain't the way it used to be -- more about that later.

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