“Against the grain” is an expression that can be figurative and literal. When used figuratively, it means to go against the norm or what is considered to be acceptable. For example, you might say, “I’m going against the grain by dyeing my hair blue.” This would mean that you are doing something that is not the norm that others might not approve of.
When used literally, “against the grain” means to move in a direction opposite of the direction in which the grain of something is growing or pointing. For example, if you are running your hand along a piece of wood, you would usually move your hand in the same direction as the grain. However, if you were to move your hand against the grain, you would move your hand in the opposite direction.
When a book or its publisher goes against the grain, they are choosing to do something that goes against the mainstream or popular opinion. This can be done for various reasons, such as to make a statement, to be different, or to simply to do something that hasn’t been done before.
Going against the grain can be a risky move, as it can alienate potential readers or customers. However, it can also be a very rewarding, creative, and financial experience.
In recent years, there have been several publishers who have gone against the grain by publishing books that are outside of the traditional genre categories. These books often explore controversial topics, and as a result, they can be very polarizing.
While doing such can be a risky proposition, it can also lead to great rewards. For publishers, it can mean publishing groundbreaking and innovative books that push the boundaries of what is possible. For readers, it can mean discovering new and exciting books they would never have found otherwise.