Late-year publishing conspiracy theories

  • Publishers curse unknown writers who inconveniently find an audience:

    Famous publishers are paying vast sums for so-called ‘big books’ that wind up very quickly in the remainder shops. Meanwhile, the best-seller lists are topped by perfectly-formed, unprepossessing volumes from small independent firms that can hardly believe their good fortune. It is a reversal of the natural laws of publishing.

  • Stephen Moss, an “embittered former literary editor of the Guardian,” sees evidence of nepotism in every “best books of the year” list.
  • Newsflash: Book blurbs are still possibly insincere, according to a Hartford Courant reviewer who calls out Thomas Pynchon and Jay McInerney.
  • Greg Gatenby, former director of Canada’s International Readings at Harbourfront Centre, plans to sell his $2 million book collection, a third of which consists of review copies amassed during his stint as Harbourfront director. But the Globe & Mail‘s Rebecca Caldwell asks:

    When publishers send out free review copies of a book for promotional purposes, are they sending them to the individual or to the institution the individual works for?

  • Canadian readers pay more than double the current difference between the U.S. and Canadian dollar over the amount U.S. readers pay for the same books. A new, illustrated version of The Da Vinci Code sells for $48 Canadian to $35 U.S. — proving that readers on both sides of the border have shitty taste Canadians may be getting screwed. (Via Bookninja.)

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