Do Publishers print garbage?

Do they deliberately produce toxic waste in order to raise enough money to invest in “real books” –or “is there no lid for the can” because they know this is what people are hungry to buy and eat (read)?

Does the precious money raked in by Toxic Best-Selling Book # 1 get invested in Toxic # 2 and #3 ad nauseum? Are publishers so addicted to predictable dollars from another Britney Spears/OJ Simpson tabloid that they have no remorse about passing up quality works written by authentic literary artists?

You bet. That is, if we’re talking about Madison Avenue/Wall Street desperados whose addiction cannot even be cured by confession or forgiveness. They know what they are, and after all, "business is business." If there's no demand for garbage, create it.

That said, it should come as no surprise to anyone that Joe the Plumber will now become a bona fide author. If publishers print garbage they will also print sewage. It’s time to drain the pipes.

In a brilliant article, “Typing Without A Clue” that appeared in the December 8, 2008 issue of the New York Times, guest columnist Timothy Egan writes:

“The unlicensed pipe fitter known as Joe the Plumber is out with a book this month, just as the last seconds on his 15 minutes are slipping away. I have a question for Joe: Do you want me to fix your leaky toilet?

“I didn't think so. And I don't want you writing books. Not when too many good novelists remain unpublished. Not when too many extraordinary histories remain unread. Not when too many riveting memoirs are kicked back at authors after 10 years of toil. Not when voices in Iran, North Korea or China struggle to get past a censor's gate.

“Joe, a k a Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, was no good as a citizen, having failed to pay his full share of taxes, no good as a plumber, not being fully credentialed, and not even any good as a faux American icon. Who could forget poor John McCain at his most befuddled, calling out for his working-class surrogate on a day when Joe stiffed him.

“With a resume full of failure, he now thinks he can join the profession of Mark Twain, George Orwell and Joan Didion."

The Good News for Authentic Authors

If you are a writer and you truly believe you’ve written a non-fiction or fiction work that has value, are you still waiting for a literary agent to accept your work and shop it to Madison Avenue?

Isn’t it refreshing to take back your power from indifferent individuals who couldn't care less about the value of your book unless it can make money for them (not you--them)?

Thanks to the internet and websites like, we can learn how to self-publish our works or place them in the hands of a competent co-publisher who will make sure you have a quality product you can be proud of.

Continues Egan:

“Most of the writers I know work every day, in obscurity and close to poverty, trying to say one thing well and true. Day in, day out, they labor to find their voice, to learn their trade, to understand nuance and pace. And then, facing a sea of rejections, they hear about something like Barbara Bush's dog getting a book deal.

“Writing is hard, even for the best wordsmiths. Ernest Hemingway said the most frightening thing he ever encountered was ‘a blank sheet of paper.’ And Winston Churchill called the act of writing a book ‘a horrible, exhaustive struggle, like a long bout of painful illness.’

“…The idea that someone who stumbled into a sound bite can be published, and charge $24.95 for said words, makes so many real writers think the world is unfair.

“For the others - you friends of celebrities penning cookbooks, you train wrecks just out of rehab, you politicians with an agent but no talent - stop soaking up precious advance money.

“I know: publishers say they print garbage so that real literature, which seldom makes any money, can find its way into print. True, to a point. But some of them print garbage so they can buy more garbage.

“There was a time when I wanted to be like Sting, the singer, belting out, ‘Roxanne ...’ I guess that's why we have karaoke, for fantasy night. If only there was such a thing for failed plumbers, politicians or celebrities who think they can write."

This article can also be viewed at, one of my favorite websites on the internet.

Author's Bio: 

Carol Adler, MFA’s first ghost-written book listing her name as co-editor, Why Am I Still Addicted? A Holistic Approach to Recovery, was endorsed by Deepak Chopra, M.D., and published by McGraw-Hill. Other publications include three novels, four books of poetry, and well over 200 poems in literary journals. She has ghostwritten over 40 non-fiction and fiction works for a number of professionals in the education, health care and human potential industries.

Carol is President of Dandelion Books, LLC of Tempe, Arizona; a full service publishing company. She is also President and CEO of Dandelion Enterprises, Inc., Write to Publish for Profit and President of the International Arts & Media Foundation, a non-profit subsidiary of Dandelion Enterprises, Inc.

Her business experience includes co-ownership of a Palm Beach, FL public relations company and executive management positions in two U.S. rejuvenation and mind/body wellness corporations, for which she founded publishing divisions.

Additional Resources on Publishing can be found at:

Website Directory for Publishing
Articles on Publishing
Products for Publishing
Discussion Board
Carol Adler, The Official Guide to Publishing

Carol has served as editor of several poetry and literary magazines. Her career experience includes extensive teaching of college-level creative and business writing, and conducting of writing workshops in prisons, libraries, elementary, junior and high schools, and senior citizen centers.