Ambulance chaser or not, do literary agents feel any moral obligation to delay the publishing of books in instances like the WV miners?I'm interested at times on what happened, and to whom, but not so anxious as to read a book on the subject before all of the details are even in.For the sake of the (widows), can't we just let them be for a little while?
Literary agents don't control publishing schedules. That's the publisher's SOLE domain.
I didn't read a single thriller for six months after 9/11.
The publisher of a book about bombing in the London Underground was horrified to be new on the shelves the same week there was that bombing there this summer.
It's a tough call. People like to read about events in the news. Are we ghouls? I hope not. I know when I want to understand about a disaster I always read the Times coverage. Is that ghoulish?
I was glued to the coverage of Diane Downs when she killed her children, and I read Ann Rule's book about it. Am I a ghoul?
Is ghoulishness a function solely of timing?
Carole Radziwill talked about "tragedy whores" in her book What Remains. She described them as the people who were ever present at tragedy, eating up the energy of a crisis and taking almost a delicious pleasure in being in the center of things. Is that ghoulish? I'd say yes.
Is it ghoulish to make money from tragedy? Well probably but stand in line, we're not alone.