Uncategorized | March 27, 2004

We’ve been on Spring Break this week but will soon resume regular posting. For those of you who haven’t heard about it, Salon.com recently featured a commentary from a fiction writer about the woes of being a midlist writer in the publishing industry (you need either a subscription to Salon to read it, or a free day pass). It provides an interesting look into the changing economics of publishing, though it has elicited a lot of negative commentary about the author’s whininess. Read other comments here.

One of the interesting things about the article is the specific details it gives about book deals and financial offers; another interesting thing is the author’s anonymity, which has sparked some on the web to guess the author’s identity based on clues (one popular choice is Amy Bloom, which Bloom has apparently denied–scroll down to read). I’m not that interested in the author’s identity, though I agree with critics that the tone of the commentary is self-congratulatory and whiny to a distracting extent. For all it reveals about the publishing industry (and it’s worth reading for that), it also repeats the same old complaints about popular vs. high culture (complaints I share in many ways) and includes an incredibly high number of anecdotes about how people love the author’s work. Read it, but with a grain of salt.