Friday, October 20, 2006

bookselling as adoption

There have been several articles recently to do with the avalanche of fall releases and the high stakes involved for the major publishers. Authors in the current retail environment are prone to very public failures. A slew of decisions outside their control can derail a career.
It's one thing for a first novel like Jed Rubenfeld's Interpretation of Murder to tank (see NYT link) as he's teaching law at Yale as he did before.
But the NYT runs pretty much the same piece every year and last years noted casualty was Myla Goldberg's Wickett's Remedy. My partner read the book and liked it well enough but the talented writer's second novel never found it's audience.
I don't envy any beginning writer nowadays, but it should be a given that the fun in the bookselling game is finding the stuff that likely isn't going to move a lot of units but could use an advocate.
I read Rubenfeld's Interpretation of Murder and it's pretty average. There's plenty of florid prose on the bestseller list (his publisher spent the necessary money to get him there at any rate) and if he doesn't make it as a novelist it's no great loss.
It would be a shame though, if Myla Goldberg who is young and loaded with talent, gets lost in the proverbial shuffle.
So in the spirit of leading a horse to water as it were, everyone ought to read this. Or this.

Posted by Dave

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