Sunday, November 25, 2018

Does Book Publishing Use A Fixer Like Donovan?

Image result for image of ray donovan

One of the television shows I enjoy watching is Showtime’s Ray Donovan.  It’s a guilty pleasure of mine, probably because the show depicts everything that I’m not – murderers, illegal acts, unethical dealings, and gratuitous violence.  The hero is a hit-man Hollywood fixer.  You have a problem that can’t be resolved using the police?  No problem, Ray can fix it with a pay-off, threats of blackmail, a good beating, or an old-fashioned bullet to the head.  You watch because it’s mesmerizing to root for the bad guy, to lust for vengeance and power, and to see a sense of justice delivered in a different package.  You watch because this world of Donovan is so other from us, a completely opposite world from the one we choose to live in.

But the show got me wondering: What if there are enforcers and fixers in the book publishing industry?

Maybe that’s how some book deals get the greenlight.  Forget great writing, lucky breaks, or friendly connections.  Maybe a publisher agrees to do a book to avoid bodily harm or to be exposed for some illegal act or personally embarrassing deed.  It just takes one weak link to get the job done.  Find an acquisitions editor with an opioid addiction, a criminal past, or a sexual harassment history. Or maybe it is a family member of the editor that has problems. Blackmail him or her.

 It could be going on right now!

Why couldn’t the Donovan world exist in book publishing?  Millions are at stake.  Egos run high.  It’s a world of creative and wealthy people, which also means addiction, sexual affairs, and crazy criminal activity lurks closely.

I guess we’ll never know.  Anyone who’s a fixer won’t talk, for fear of retribution or criminal prosecution.  Those taken advantage of by fixers are too afraid to speak up or risk losing their place in the book world, not to mention their safety.  And usually few witnesses exist – and they certainly won’t talk. But this would make a great book!

In our concierge society we hire people to do everything – walk the dog, nanny the kids, be personal shoppers, help us organize, clean our houses, tend to our lawns, find us jobs, line up dates, plan our vacations, etc. so why wouldn’t someone hire a fixer to do the dirty work that others lack the heart, balls, or skills to do?

Enter Ray Donovan.  Book publishing absolutely has a bunch of Donovans running around killing book deals that ruffle the politics and financial interests of powerful entities.  They are out there with photos, videos or false evidence, armed with information or threats and weapons, ready to fix a problem. 

The book industry prints billions of dollars of commercial activity.  It is likely to be as corrupt as other industries, even though it appears to be the world of gentlemen and ladies of society.


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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America and participated in a PR panel at the Sarah Lawrence College Writers Institute Conference.

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