Newsflash: 100 shitty books on the front table do not a classic make

These days publishers and booksellers in the U.S. and U.K. throw their promotion efforts behind hot, expendable books like Plum Sykes’ debut novel or the Clinton memoir and leave backlist titles to go fallow or flower as they will. According to the Bookseller, the major U.K. book chains are “recommitting to [a] range”:

The danger is that we promote the new books, many of which will be ephemeral, at the expense of backlist ones, which by definition are more enduring, and at the expense of less glamorous ones, which might never get the chance to prove themselves. David Sexton expressed these misgivings in the Evening Standard this week. “The books of the past . . . (are) better and, as it happens, mostly cheaper too,” he writes. “But this is a truth not to be spoken among publishers and booksellers. They are committed to going forward with their new products, the ones that are filling the windows and covering the tables, at the front.”

(Via The Literary Saloon.)


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