The difficulty of publishing a book in the twenty-first century is not only a challenge because of how nearly impossible it is to find an “in” with an agent or even a small press willing to take a chance on an unknown name (regardless of whether or not the content is alluring), but also primarily due to how disinterested audiences at large are in anything even remotely resembling the intellect of novels past.
The latest indication of this? Ivy St. Ive’s book deal, presented to her on a silver platter by an as of yet undeclared publishing company. A representative from the company was reportedly sent to St. Ive’s Bushwick apartment (Bushwick, of course) to secure a contract with the Cinderella of millennials at the height of her Craig’s List fame as a result of offering to train people in the art of Pokémon Go.
In addition, St. Ive was also approached by Gamer Sensei to help teach those working at the company how to play at an expert level–not to mention also writing a few sections of a how-to manual, to boot. And while no one is negating that technical writing skills like this are what truly pay the big bucks, or even that Ivy St. Ive has talent, of a sort, what needs to be said is this: nothing but glittering piles of shit designed to appeal to the masses can seem to land a major contract for publishing.
And the more this is iterated by shining examples of “authors” like St. Ive, the more discouraging it is for writers with a classic sensibility to keep trying, simply hoping against hope that they’ll at least end up like Kafka and get someone–anyone–to appreciate their genius post-mortem. Because, at the moment, Pokémon Go is evidently the only “genre” of narrative with cachet; a fact that, lamentably, might even make E.L. James come across as “brilliant” with enough time at the rate the publishing industry is going.