This is the innovation age in the information industry. Old models are being broken.
I step back and wonder why my ebooks, especially the romances, are selling so well. Why were they rejected by big publishing? My sales rank on Amazon Kindle store defies legacy industry logic.
Legacy industry logic. I've reverse-engineered what that means by observing present-day big publishing behavior. A good data point is agency model pricing -- their inability to adjust prices (or allow their vendor to do so) in the face of rapidly-changing market conditions. They continue to push a model that used to work.
This kind of backward-looking, risk-adverse decision-making seems to characterize most aspects of the traditional publishing industry -- repeating the same things time and again, and expecting it to work when the paradigm has shifted. I do believe that's the definition of insanity.
Taking risk adversity to the editorial level means using the same author stable, the same voices, the same formula, over and over again. This is why so many were rejected. It wasn't necessarily about the writing. It was about maintaining a status quo within the industry. It was about keeping readers addicted to the same authors, the same story lines, the same voices. It was about being able to accurately predict the next quarterly and annual profits. Taking risks on more than a handful of new voices could potentially wreak havoc with the bottom line.
Ironically, the same system they fight will also be their salvation. Self-publishing and ebooks solve a huge problem for the industry. They can now choose from established and proven authors (Hocking, Morrison); projecting profits is easy when you can select from a test market far more powerful and reliable than ANY agent.
So . . . why isn't the query system dead already? I give it one more year.