The world of publication has reached a new low on the artistic side and a new high on the profit side. The big publishing company Simon & Schuster wants to publish a crowd-sourced book about Taylor Swift! Yeah, no need to pay an author anymore, no need to pay people for doing research, her avid fans, Swifties around the world, already know everything about the singer and they sure will deliver, especially if you bait them with a few prizes,… let’s say of a few thousands for each major contribution… but what could this represent compared to the millions they are gonna make from the book?
In celebration of the first decade of Taylor’s career, Simon & Schuster invite fans to help them ‘create and publish a beautifully illustrated scrapbook that contains the best of all things Swift’… a scrapbook? Who are they, Martha Stewart?
The book will be released on October 24, 2016, to mark the ten-year anniversary of her first album and the first decade of her career, and they present it as a ‘vital collection of all things Taylor’. They are asking fans to submit their concert pictures, works of art, reviews, poems, drawings,… and every fan around the country or even around the world, can participate, and help choose the book’s title, design its cover, become an author… You can enter the contests and win between $2,500 (title contest) and $10,000 (honorary author contest)…
This may be a new turn for books, and a new way to publish book? Does everything have to be crowd-founded and crowd-sourced these days? Does everything, every book have to please everyone? Does every article have to embrace as many people as possible? Where has the individuality gone? What has become to the voice of a particular person? Sure it is just a scrapbook about Taylor Swift, not a Dostoyevsky novel, but this is a new way to please as many people as possible and I can’t approve that insipid soup. …. Sure they will also include more serious writings from The New Yorker, album reviews by Sasha Frere-Jones, essays by Ann Powers, Q&As with Chuck Klosterman and humorous analysis from McSweeney’s and The Hairpin, but still, it is going to look like a 10th grader yearbook with a few press cut-outs, with Simon & Schuster as the official president of Taylor Swift’s fan club,… it’s gonna suck big time.
Anyway, if you want to participate, you can always submit your stuff with the hashtag #SwiftFanBook!
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