Whenever I stroll through my local shopping mall, it always amazes me how many poor quality children’s books have made it out there in the market place. I see rhyming books without correct meter; and picture story books with poorly written, disjointed story development and little incentive to keep turning the page. How do these people get published, when most of your dear readers spend their time revising and rewriting ad nauseum, and still don’t get a look in? Aaaaargh!Because:
1. Some publishers have no shame. Some of us feel we owe children our best, and that products of all kinds for children should be good for children, but others of us are happy to let children play with the literary equivalent of a Choke-On-Me Elmo (now with Sharp Edges!). They publish blunt traumas to the imagination in the form of books, because they know:
2. Many members of the public have no sensitivity to the difference between good writing and bad, and will spend their money on anything colorful and cheap. Which provides certain publishers with no motivation to do anything but:
3. Pay nothing, or next to nothing, for text. A bunch of those terrible texts you see never touched the slush pile. They were banged out in-house by an overworked editor who knew NO ONE cared how bad or good the writing was, or was farmed out to a freelancer who was paid so little they seriously weren't going to spend more than an hour on it.
In a free-market economy, the good and the bad of it is: people vote with their wallets. And publishers, which are businesses, listen to those votes.