Not Good


"Publishing is now very much like opening weekend grosses in the movie business, it’s about exploding out of the box and selling as many copies as quickly as possible," says Roger Cooper, Vanguard’s publisher.

A little context is in order. This is from an article on a small publisher (Vanguard), which has become a repository of big name autors (David Morrell and others) hoping to get market traction.

I think the above quote represents a bad trand in publishing, but I’m heartened to see that

Mr. Morrell says he is involved in every step of the marketing at Vanguard, which plans on publishing only one or two books a month for the near future.

Not that I’m all that eager to see authors that involved with marketing, but I think this is far better than the horror stories I’ve read where an author is virtually shut out from everything and ends up watching her book get published with no notice whatsoever.

I also like Vanguard’s very sane approach of 1-2 books per month. I’ve said this before, and I’ll keep saying it: Many publishers publish too many books. I’d rather they get behind a smaller number of titles they really believe in than spray up 100 titles per season and hope a few stick.

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It’s funny that I’ve heard from many literary people, including authors, that publishers publish too many books. Yet few of them (I’m one) stop trying to get their own books accepted by these publishers.

Thomas Whiteside, The Blockbuster Complex: Conglomerates, Show Business, and Book Publishing (Wesleyan University Press, 1980)
Note the publication date.

The Latin American Mixtape

5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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