Publishing anything – fiction or academic – in the health domain has become increasingly difficult, if the work touches on commercial interests linked to health services, pharmaceuticals, medical devices or vaccines.
Agents and Publishers can see sales in books that are pro services, drugs and devices or anti- drugs, devices and services, but neither agents nor publishers can see much of a market for anything that is neither black nor white.
This is like pharmaceutical companies faced with a first antipsychotic and later a first antidepressant who turned these drugs down because they’d never had one before and hadn’t the imagination to envisage what the possibilities might be.
Our health services are now effectively surrounded by a thicket of gatekeepers who prevent the publication of anything that might engage with our need for healthcare rather than their ability to provide health services.
Outsourced public relations organizations aligned with these industries, like Sense about Science and the Science Media Centre, label publishers and agents by their willingness to promote a corporate agenda. They make it their business to harass and shun publishers, agents or authors who produce work that threatens the current business model of health service industries. Authors who or works that reject modern medicine are less of a problem – these can be useful in the marketing of services, drugs, devices and vaccines
In addition, publishers are primarily directed by their financial interests – not even university presses any longer have a commitment to getting important messages out. They reserve the right to control and change the title, the cover, and the text of a book in order to align it with their objectives.
Bookstore chains also are increasingly linked to specific publishers and will not distribute books from other publishers or books that will not in their opinion sell a sufficient number of copies. Publication by even a respectable university or other conventional publisher no longer guarantees bookstore distribution, and the book may only being available through online distributors.
The Last Supper re-imagined in Zurich in 1957 when the first research on an antidepressant was presented to a small group of around 12 doctors while the hundreds of other delegates at the meeting occupied themselves elsewhere – based on Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper.
Samizdat Health is an international writers’ co-operative owned by its members. A member is anyone who writes or produces artwork for or otherwise works on publications produced by Samizdat and is willing to be a member and help find works and promote them.
Samizdat is open to taking works in fiction, non-fiction, graphic or other form, that engage with the difficulties and issues thrown up by “health” – a domain that now occupies the place in our lives religion once occupied.
It engages with rather than rejects mainstream medicine.
Its objective is to ensure that ideas that are now difficult to publish get the widest possible distribution and earn a return for their authors.