Che Elias of Six Gallery Press:
1. Literature is in trouble -- that is, more trouble than usual. Why do you think this is? The increasing prevalence of TV? The distractions of increasingly narcotic subcultures such as video games? Sept. 11? Or is talk of the "death of literature" simple exaggeration?
I think a lot of things change people don't read much anymore Because of television and video games i think and just the fact that attention spands have decreased And From people raised on things Like Video Games People can't Sit still for long enough or focus A certain syntax is So engrained in them That a Lot of bad literature which is published And Being forced to read books that One doesn't want to read I think if different books could be used Other than the standards ones that all schools use Then People would be more into reading Since they Dont like what they "HAVE" to read they don't choose to read beyond that point.
2. And what is literature, anyway? Should the traditional novel be considered the prime example of it?
Literature is a lot of Things i think __ There are so many different examples i think one of the problems is that people only think of the traditional novel as a way To View Literature __ When the novel has been reborn so many times Books Like finnegans wake and mason and dixon should set an example and open people to the fact that literature Can Be a Lot of Things
3. Prizes and awards are playing an increasing role in determining an author's career-trajectory. In short, winning a major literary prize can win a writer a large audience overnight (not to mention, considerable fame and financial remuneration). But, as British critic Jason Cowley has observed, what is lost is the ability for readers to think in a critically complex fashion. Are literary prizes dangerous in this regard? Do they convey to the public the message that "this book is worth reading and all these others aren't"?
Yes Most certainly and a Lot of Bad Books get awarded People read a book or see a film because it won an award Which is meaningless Many times since it was based from favortism i think People should read books hopefully for some kind of Enlightentment And Enjoyment and relationship with language
4. Literary publishing has always been a marriage of art and commerce. But in recent years, the Cult of the Deal has become more influential, with agents demanding larger advances and marketing people paying especially close attention to sales figures. Is the "art" side of the business being pushed out?
Pushed Out Yes but pushed in also with more Bad books being produced by major presses You see more and more small presses Such as Soft Skull and Fugue State Taking chances and doing books that they wouldnt Be doing otherwise so i think there's balance still between art and business
5. Many major publishers now refuse to accept "unsolicited" work; that is, they will not even consider work unless it is agented. Is this a sound policy from point of view of finding the best new literary voices? Isn't there a chance good writing will be squeezed out?
Yes Definitely All Presses would hopefully accept unsolicited stuff But i have had the experience even with a small press That We receive So Many Books which don't match our criteria So i figure a major presses just gets so many That they have to weed them out and it gets to the point where There needs to be a middle man IE agent unfortunately that's just how it is
6. Alternatively, for small presses that do accept unsolicited work, is the problem that the majors are squeezing the small houses at the distribution/retail marketing end? In other words, even when good writers get published by small houses, do they have a fair chance of winning an audience? Or are the major houses introducing an overly corporate, overly aggressive mentality to the book trade?
it can be very hard to get a book out there if you went with a small press Sometimes Bookstores won't carry and reviewers won't look at it like they would if it Were a Done by a major press But there is a hands on approach which requires a lot of grunt work and A Do it yourself approach which is great and works for us but won't work for everyone else so yes The Major presses definitely dominate
7. Returning to the question of agents -- are they too powerful? If so, in what ways? Or are they a largely beneficial and necessary element of contemporary publishing?
i think if you want to go with a major press in most cases you need an agent, although i can Say as small press author myself i was able to find success without one but it was a lot of hard work Really hard work for that matter i Would advise most people to Acquire an agent if just for the Fact of getting discouraged when you have to do EVERYTHING And i mean everything yourself
8. Does America have too many publishers? Or too few?
it has too few that Want to avant garde or Groundbreaking works We need more Presses focused primarily on Books for artistic merits not just money But When money is factored in it becomes difficutl to take chanches Printing on Demand helps you have less of a risk to take But i would like to see more Small presses doing challenging work
9. In your opinion, how will new technologies such as the e-book or audio books affect the "form" of the book?
I Think They Affect if for some people especially audio books it's obviously easier for some people to have a book read to them because of their schedule or whatnot And i think it's great but you can't beat holding the real book in your hands and actually reading i think push come to shove that The BoundCopy(book) of the text will be what prevails
10. Putting aside the hype, does the Internet provide a real opportunity to publishers? If so, how?
Yes definitely there is an endless string of connections to make on the internet I Would not be where i am with them due to blogs and myspace and just the information available all at once to everyone everywhere most people would not be able to publish with out --it is a revolution and always will stand as one
11. And what role can traditional, venerable institutions such as libraries and English Departments play in reversing the decline in sales of literary fiction?
I think The Library is great i dont know about the english department Still most people would probably rather buy the book i think most people go into libraries to use the Internet services if anything I Think people will want to buy the book maybe if they get if from a library and decide that they like it they'll buy it i guess that would help
12. What projects are you working on now that you are excited about?
I'm working on a nine part series titled Goal B it's a mysterious Project in a sense but plain obvious too I have been working on it a long it Deals with Family Relations/ abuse and general nihilism and albeit bearing on the esoteric
Bio: Che Elias Was born in 1980 in Glendale West Virginia He is currently the Editor Of Six Gallery Press, he has published Six Books --Most Recently his novel "The Abacus" he lives in Pittsburgh PA _________________________________________________