How how-to books reflect the economic state

Again, from Shelf Awareness:

The Los Angeles Times charts the frenzied buying by publishers to find “the next ‘big book’ that reflects a more sobering view of the economy and offers solutions to help Americans survive the current fiscal woes.” Some publishers are lucky enough to have pertinent titles in the pipeline, but others don’t and are reissuing some pertinent works.

The story’s lead puts the issue in perspective: “About a year ago, one of America’s bestselling business books was Michael Corbett’s Find It, Fix It, Flip It!: Make Millions in Real Estate—One House at a Time. Today, one of the hot finance titles picked up for publication is Stephen Leeb’s Game Over: How the Collapsing Economy Will Shrink Your Wealth by 50% Unless You Know What to Do.”

While it may be a statement on the sober state of the current U.S. economy (I had never thought about this before), it’s also a statement about the publishing industry. Publishers want to get their hands on titles of this sort because they know they’ll make money. OK, they’re businesses, sure. But sending up such a flare makes me seriously doubt the quality and trustworthiness of the manuscripts they’ll receive and later publish in response. Just as the publishers want such titles so they can make money, perhaps writers will create and submit corresponding titles too quickly, or despite those writers’ lack of relevant qualifications. The thought makes me squeamish.

Maybe it’s because I’m too much of an idealist, I don’t know. I do know that it makes me want to stay firmly in the realm of fiction.


One response to “How how-to books reflect the economic state

  1. Ha! “Realm of Fiction” is exactly where I fear our leaders are firmly fixed throughout this economic crisis. Funny choice of words…………

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