The New York Times just ran an article that lists in numbers and in names the state of publishing in a country dominated by four major publishers and 1 book buyer for Barnes & Noble (17% of the market). It’s a sobering affair, and yet offers a kind of justification to lunatics and small press types that standing on a street corner and trying to unload your screed is the only practical way to conduct oneself.
This from Jonathan Galassi (FSG):
Publishers frequently argue for the bottom quarter of their list the books that get the least marketing support and often sell the fewest copies. That’s “where the major writers of the future usually start,” Galassi said. “It’s where much of the best writing is, the work of the odd, uncooperative, intractable, pigheaded authors who insist on seeing and saying things their own way and change the game in the process. The ‘system’ can only recognize what it’s already cycled through. What’s truly new is usually indigestible at first.”
Read the whole article here.