I’m enjoying reading André Schiffrin’s excellent ‘Words & Money’, which provides a very lucid, if somewhat European, take on the current publishing industry. It’s actually quite funny, too, although in a way which will make any editor shift a little uncomfortably in his or her seat.
“The pressure is to produce fewer books, concentrating on those with the highest sales potential, eliminating vast areas that used to be the hallmark of many of these houses. In the past I have joked that publishers progressed from infanticide, neglecting the new books that show no sales promise, to abortion, cancelling existing contracts of books no longer thought to be financially worthwhile. The goal now is contraception, preventing such titles from ever entering the process at all”.