On the State of Publishing
How bad is the publishing business? Not even best-selling authors with a consistent record of “earning out” advances (i.e., garnering more in wholesale sales than the amount paid in advance by the publisher) can count on seeing their most current manuscripts make it to print and occupying dear shelf space at Barnes & Noble.
I know of what I speak.
My literary agent is tenacious, comitted, passionate, optimistic, and determined. But short of performing fellatio on the Editorial Director at Knopf, there’s not much he can do to convince nervous publishers that foisting my books upon the world would be a good and noble idea. Granted, my work is not about cooking the low-carb way or about how to make money in real estate or about my affair with Nicole Kidman. Also, I am not the star of a TV show at the moment.
But, deluded as it may sound, some people — and there are increasingly fewer of them — still want and need books that appeal to the better angels of their nature. And their intelligence and spiritual concerns.
So I continue writing.