Tuesday, September 11, 2007

On Books

There's an article available online at Asimov's about publishing, small presses, literary SFF, authors who may never have been published if these small presses weren't around, the no good reason the large presses aren’t buying what the small presses are except the whole publishing industry, payscale driven by publisher size and a whole conglomerate of interesting ideas regarding the reality of publishing today.

Source: Lou Anders at the Pyr Blog.

Can there be a place for such a novel in a commercial SF line? Meaning an imprint of one of the handful of corporate conglomerates that dominate the racks in the chains? The major bookstore chains whose orders dominate their distribution expectations, which control their pro-spective print runs, which determine unit cost and whether there is any hope of turning a profit?

Which determine their decision as to whether to buy a novel or not, irrespective of literary quality?

Crank something like The Good Fairies of New York through this accounting software and the answer comes up No Way. Leaving it to the small press, whose commercial expectations are modest, whose advances are therefore minuscule, to buy according to taste and instinct, as was the industry norm in days of yore, throw a hail mary from inside the twenty-yard line, and hope for the best.

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