I have never been contacted by a book publisher.
I never will be. I refuse to self-publish. Fuck it. Here's why.
- Homo sapiens is screwed up
In 2006, Colin Beavan, the author of two works of popular history, was casting about for a book idea. Beavan was living in lower Manhattan, near N.Y.U., and that winter there was a weird heat wave that sent bevies of coeds out onto the streets in tank tops. He didn’t know much about global warming, but the sight of all those bare-armed girls in January got him thinking. Maybe his next project should be “about what’s important.” Over lunch at a pricey midtown restaurant, he told his agent that he wanted to “find a way to encourage a society that emphasizes a little less self-indulgence.”
His agent reacted coolly. “The way you talk about it is a bummer,” he said. “How will I be able to convince a publisher that people will spend twenty-four ninety-five on a book that tells them how screwed up they are?”
Q.E.D. (it is proved) **
** from the Latin quod erat demonstrandum, meaning "that which was to be demonstrated"
Long Story Short
The fact that Homo sapiens is absolutely unwilling or unable to take a good hard look at its own destructive behaviors constitutes a compelling "proof" that our species is screwed up.
What follows from the steadfast refusal or inability of Homo sapiens to examine (and thus change, perhaps) its own behavior? Dangerous anthropogenic climate change, wholesale destruction of marine ecosystems, the Sixth Extinction, outrageous economic inequality, constant violence and wars, and the millions of other morally repugnant things which go on every day.
Out of the 7.2 billion people on this planet, who among them might spend $24.95 on a book explaining to humans in great detail just how screwed up they actually are? (This is the book I would write.) Statistically speaking, the number of people among those many billions who might read such a book is indistinguishable from zero. Therefore, effectively, the impact of such a book would also be zero.
So there is no point whatsover in writing that kind of book. And, as Colin Beavan's agent said to him, there is certainly no way such a book would ever get published. Q.E.D.
Corollary (following from the existence of this proof)
- Flatland exists
Additional Confirming Evidence (hat tip, reader Ben)