Last week, I sat down with some other folks in the publishing industry to talk about, well, you guessed it, the publishing industry. It was a very productive conversation, but what struck me most was a topic that came up while we were socializing after the meeting.
We, like many of you, started talking about entertainment: books, TV, movies, music. But we weren’t talking about it as people who work in those fields. We were talking as fans.
Because that’s what drives most of us to this industry: We don’t just produce entertainment, we also consume it. A lot.
Take Doctor Who. It’s likely no surprise I’m a fan. But I’m a new-gen fan. I started watching with Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor. So, I have a different perspective on the direction the series has taken recently than long-time fans do. And some of my colleagues have been watching since Tom Baker. But we all have an opinion about the show, and about the recent revelations about the Doctor’s history and Matt Smith’s departure.
Every one of us at that table was a fan of the show, and each of us had a different opinion. We spent a half hour on that topic alone, and while our conversation was perhaps more technical than that of fans not immersed in the industry, it was still a fan discussion. And a passionate one.
Of course, like most people, we don’t always consume the same forms of entertainment. Kristine Kathryn Rusch and I spent some time explaining why we feel The Good Wife is one of the best-written shows on television to a couple of male colleagues who have never watched it. Those colleagues passed over the show because the marketing of it is a successful failure. It’s successfully marketed as a show for women. But it’s so much more than that, and far from a chick show. Thus, the failure part of the campaign. They’ve self-limited their audience. That’s a shame.
Okay, so even as a fan I can’t cast off my professional role.
The breadth of that conversation though—from Doctor Who to The Good Wife—shows how diverse our tastes can be. That concept crosses media, as well, because many of us are as diverse in our reading tastes as our viewing ones.
If I were to list my favorite books of all time (which, as a publisher, I will not), they would include literary, fantasy, mystery, historical and some so cross-genre I have trouble figuring out which shelf they would go on—and that’s saying something.
I’m clearly not alone. The huge fan bases our WMG authors have shows that you, too, value variety. Heck, these days I’m surprised when one of them gives me a book that I can only classify as being in one genre.
We’re glad you enjoy their work. We do, too. And we’ve got a lot more of it coming your way this year.
So, stay tuned.
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.