In next week’s episode of The Apprentice, the teams have to ‘create’ a children’s book. And sell it.
I know the whole point of The Apprentice is that it’s a parody of how business actually works. I suspect that the reason for the series’ success (umpteeen years) is because it often gets pretty close to the bone.
Disclosure: I am not a poet/novelist/memoirist/whatever, though I’ve published under those guises: many collections of poetry, some of them shortlisted for the Forward, the TSE, the Whitbread, a Cholmondeley prize in the mix; and a prize-winning short novel (that one I’d stand by); and a short-story collection, and other things; and it’s clear to anyone who wants clarity that I’m an also-ran. There are worse things to be. If there are winners, there are also-rans. Someone has to make up the numbers. Your’re fired. I’m fine with that. I now, by accident, publish.
About publishing, I have ‘unresolved issues’. The ‘writer’, canonised, in her/his room with a view and a dog to walk; the middle-management of publishers, their ‘expertise’, their expense-account lunches; the bookshops with their upscale stationery on the ground floor, Moleskine notebooks and Pantone mugs and their ‘staff picks’; the dreary ‘can’t wait’ on Facebook when anyone announces they’ve won some prize or are about to have a new book out; the polite applause at readings; the self-congratulatory consensus that small presses are ‘a good thing’. I despise it, and do it.