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she read it on her Blackberry, in New York. The first hundred pages. And then she said

in Swedish. We missed on that one. Because we don’t read Swedish

do you understand how the agent gets paid? Do you understand what a commission is

no not a birthday party. The pub’s birthday party. It’s turning two today

plot-driven narratives. I appreciate beautiful writing, I really do. But on the other hand

the buyer for Waterstones will take it in his hands and say “You think I can charge £7.99 for

handling the archive, even though most of it is out of copyright, still has made that place what

three Martini lunches. But the work is social, it’s about networking. People in my home town

the most beautiful words in the business are “first novel by an eighteen year old.” After all

the jacket listed the wrong characters. I mean had their names wrong, all of them. So I

about the death of publishing, about the end of book stores. But twenty years ago

Written by adswithoutproducts

October 26, 2010 at 11:50 am

Posted in overheard, publishing

will kindle for kindling

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My household currently contains, digitially speaking anyway, three books that are in process, two of which are nearing completion, one just barely started. My household thus tries not to think and definitely not to talk about the current state of the publishing industry. Especially not right before bed.

But christ if the new NYRB doesn’t feel thin, the thinnest ever. No ads, no ads, for no new books. Oh me. And then there’s this happy little number in this week’s LRB:

The share price of the corporation I worked for had fallen more than 80 per cent in the previous 18 months. The CEO of Barnes and Noble, the largest bookstore chain in the US, had just announced that ‘never in all my years as a bookseller have I seen a retail climate as poor as the one we are in, nothing even close.’

My boss ended our meeting with a reflection on the state of book publishing today. She said that two words sprung to mind: General Motors.


Peter Olson, until recently the chairman and CEO of Random House, wrote in Publishers Weekly last month: ‘While 2008 ended on a disappointing and even discouraging note for many in the book industry, the outlook for the new year is even bleaker. One-time adjustments by retailers and underlying shifts in the structure of the book industry will make 2009 the worst year for publishing in decades.’

Sure, it’s nothing to complain about compared to what tons and tons of people are facing or are about to face. But still, depressing. Trying to come up with a positive way to spin it. I guess it could be good for the, um, art not to worry about petty shit like selling this stuff or ever seeing it in print.

I tried! Now back to my real job: paper marking.

Written by adswithoutproducts

February 25, 2009 at 9:31 pm

Posted in crisis, publishing