There’s been a big fuss in the small world of publishing news recently because a letter has been written by somebody called Douglas Preston, and signed by some very important people who wish to return the publishing industry to the good old days when it was largely controlled by six big corporations (or maybe five now that Penguin and Random House have merged). It’s a big deal for me because this letter represents a direct threat to my livelihood. The text is long and boring and with lots of details that won’t make sense to publishing outsiders (or insiders for that matter). So I’ve taken the liberty of cutting out 99% of the words and rewriting it in metaphor. The essence of this very important letter remains unchanged. Indeed, I think it shines with more clarity in my version than in the original.
Dear Department of Justice,
Every year exploitative meat producers throughout North America and Europe force consumers to purchase turkey meat for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The resulting damage to the producers of other meats, and vegetarian alternatives, is devastating, a clear abuse of monopoly power, and incompatible with America ideals of liberty, free speech, and the unfettered flow of foodstuffs. We urge you to stamp out this abuse by investigating the market-abusing suppliers of turkey products, and declaring Thanksgiving and Christmas illegal.
For a less metaphorical treatment of this self-serving attack by Turkeys United on book consumers, see this in-depth article by JA Konrath.