Ethan Nosowsky Interview

Some good stuff here in this interview with Graywolf editor Ethan Nosowsky, whose work you’ve most recently seen in Geoff Dyer’s Otherwise Known as the Human Condition.

Here are some quotes that caught my eye:

I’ve seen authors who are highly engaged in social media, and I’m not sure it’s helped sell twenty more books.

The sales numbers for a well-reviewed, voice-driven literary novel are not radically different for that kind of book than they were fifteen years ago, but you have to work a lot harder to get that number, and you’re reaching out to a lot of places that didn’t exist fifteen years ago. I think in the last five years, there are a lot more viable and authoritative online review media and web magazines.

Whether it was thirty years ago or today, you want your authors to do as much publicity as they can stomach. You should always do as much as you have energy for. But publishing has never been a cookie cutter industry.

The other thing is that for certain kinds of books that might be more literary or darker or unconventional in some way, they can get lost on a larger list at one of the larger houses. They tend to stand out more on our list and we know what to do with them, how to handle them. Bigger houses tend to print the book rather than publish it. For certain books where we might be stretching to compete with a moderate advance at a larger house, it means a lot to us, and it might get published more aggressively by us.

Editing very rarely happens during the workday.

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