So you’ve been assigned to write a four paragraph business article about a publishing trade show. Naturally, the big questions you have to ask yourself are “how little research can I do” and ”how many people can I piss off” in that little space. Think big. If you do it correctly, a commenter will be forced to observe, “There’s so much…wrong about this article I don’t know where to start, so I’ll just close my eyes and point at the screen.”
Begin by clearing your head. A few scotches at the hotel bar should do the trick. Picture the most superficial impressions of your time at Book Expo America. Got it? It’s time to write. You’ll probably want to start by making an offhand judgement of all children’s books.
I have nothing against children’s books, but when all of them seem to participate in a contest of garishness for the most outrageous combination of colors, the esthetic model that is being set up is accountable for the bad taste of generations.
Nice start. Nothing good ever follows a “but.” Next, you’ll want to make an unsubstantaited statement about what is “widely known.” Something like this:
…the publication of serious literature, and particularly of literary fiction, has been abandoned…
Yep. That’ll do. Alright, now in your third paragraph you’ll want to sound coherent, but use exclamation marks to ensure the reader knows what’s important! Now it’s time to blindside the readers with your grand finale. You’ll want to conclude with a sweeping indictment of all that you don’t understand. Start with gross and distorted generalizations about book blogs that conflates everything that you’ve ever halfway heard about books, blogs, and the death of criticism into a few sentences:
Book blogging has become a subculture whose members are mostly women between 20 and 50 years old, often known as “mommy bloggers” because they are housewives who blog about romance novels, horror/vampire stories and paranormal novels. Many of them have hundreds of followers on Twitter, and the result is that they have the power to establish new trends… And the publishing industry has started to take them seriously.
Awesome! And it’s true, yall! Now denigrate young women AND belittle technology WHILE flaunting your ignorance:
At the Book Bloggers reception I met many girls in their early twenties who already have hundreds of followers on Twitter. As far as I could tell, I was the only person at the convention who doesn’t tweet.
Trifecta! And then finish with a crescendo of babble that makes little sense. Excellent. Now find a graphic that will add insult to injury. Is your editor drunk or otherwise asleep at the wheel? File that story! Your work here is done. Nice job!