White Noise

Posted: January 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

What the hell are we doing?


Everybody’s got an ezine, an online magazine. Everybody’s chasing that dream of doing something great and wonderful and worthwhile. Everybody’s going to write the Great American Novel.


Except that… they’re not.


Not everybody is going to write a novel that will go around the world. Not everybody will produce an ezine that will survive longer than five years. Not everybody will become a publisher whose novels will saturate the earth with words like rain.


But we do it anyway, don’t we? Why?


One reason is the simplicity of doing any of this at all. It’s easy—so incredibly easy—all this self-publishing and starting up ezines. So incredibly easy these days. The ease transitions the masses into the sheer volume of self-published ezines and novels until a tsunami-wave of words rises high enough to topple even the most prodigious of publishing houses. The noise becomes a cacophony of “Support me!” and “BUY MY BOOK!” and “JOIN MY LINKED-IN.COM!” and a host of other pleas.


“Please support us at Preditors and Editors poll!”


“Please recommend me for a Bram Stoker!”


“Please read my ezine!”


“Please befriend me at Facebook!”


“Please read my story at Smashwords! If you won’t buy it, that’s okay because I’ll give it away for free. Just read me, please, for the love of God read my story! Tell me you love me! Just read the words of my soul and turn the pages of my mind, and I’ll be so incredibly happy that I could just die.”


But we can’t devote all of our attention to all the white-noise. Speed-readers call it the “word blizzard,” those unread emails, those extra briefings and notes at work we neglect because there isn’t enough time in the day to actually read them all. We begin ignoring the pleas to read the new ezines and books and stories. Because all the white noise has become a true cacophony, entailing everything that the definition of the word means.


It’s a true cacophony out there. Nothing but white-noise.


And all this white-noise (all these blogs and ezines and anthologies from all the masses of writers who can so easily set up a new website that will disappear in two years)… all this white noise numbs the senses, tears down the sales of the big-boy publishers so that traditional publishing houses that have been around since the 1800s are falling off the face of the earth, going bankrupt, ceasing to exist. Laying off copyeditors and editors. Downsizing and shrinking like cancer bombarded by the radiation of chemotherapy.


All this is happening because of the white-noise. All this is happening because there is the transition of power from the echelons at the top of the business pyramid (major publishers) shifting to the Bottom of the Pyramid or BOP’s control (small-press publishers and Amzon.com).


When one brings about a new voice, a new style or new type of monster (Novus Creatura), that voice is lost in the cacophony of voices. Even when that voice screams, the sound is lost in the white-noise-silence that numbs the world, that constant drone that becomes the sound of silence crafted out of screaming promotionals and advertisements, until only numbing silence remains. Until a void is created. And that void grows into the lack of sales, and that lack of sales makes new publishers of ezines fold and fail after one or two years.


But there are other publishers out there that do not crack, that do not fold or fail to bring readers the best copyedited fiction, to bring new stories and voices to the masses. And despite those masses being hypnotized by the white-noise of the BOP, they continue to produce quality fiction day-in and day-out.