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.)


You might want to subscribe to my free Substack newsletter, Ancestor Trouble, if the name makes intuitive sense to you.