Why We’re Here:
Ken Smith wrote a masterful novel called The Pleasant Valley Wars based upon an Arizona family feud. The writing was smart, the story dramatic and compelling, the characters real and engaging. And throughout, readers came to understand how and why feuds (wars?) arise. The novel was both a delight and a valuable experience.
Ken was represented by an excellent and widely respected agent, yet the book got rejected by every major press. It was called “Too western for a literary novel and too literate for a western.”
Whenever a fine story gets buried alive for strictly commercial reasons, both the writer and us readers get cheated.
Every day, authors receive from agents and publishers comments like, “Your book is too Christian for the mainstream market and too sexy for the Christian market.” Or, “There are just not enough readers for a story about flamenco.” Every day, books get rejected based upon the potential marketing niche, or lack thereof, regardless of the book’s quality or its value to potential readers.
Though we at Hickey’s Books understand the motive behind those considerations, we don’t like it. We appreciate the value of money, but money is not our bottom line. Our bottom line is publishing excellent books, whether or not they fit into anybody’s categories, and attempting to reach the readers who will love them.
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