Loves his hardcover.

British man wrings hands, plays prestige/anti-elitist cards to say "Wait" to Picador.  Running down his points – see if you can follow his thinking, with my thoughts in parentheses: 

  • People don’t want to pay for hardcovers.  (Case closed!)
  • Paperbacks are beginning to get better coverage on review pages.  (What review pages?  Okay, maybe this is true; I can’t say one way or the other, but again, case closed, right?)
  • Picador should be wary of offending authors who feel that the hardcover adds prestige.  (Other than Sour Grapes Ian McEwan, who thinks this?)
  • Then:
    • If they dispense with hardbacks, they will have to put out larger print runs of paperbacks to justify publication; and they will find that the market is often resistant to new fiction, at any price.

      As a result, they will only take on authors whom they believe can sell the paperback print runs – a surefire recipe for conservative commissioning. The gap between the McEwans and the rest will grow. A policy that appears at first glance to be anti-elitist may turn out to have just the opposite effect.

Eh, this seems kind of shaky.  That’s why we have independent presses.  And it’s not like the next McEwan novel won’t be reviewed by every blog, newspaper, and magazine in the land.  And it’s not like publishers – the ones Clee seems to have in mind here – are exactly taking a gamble with most of the books they publish, hardcover or not. 

Nicholas Clee, were I a baker, you would not be the recipient of a baked good for your strangely counterintuitive arguments.

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Loves his hardcover.

British man wrings hands, plays prestige/anti-elitist cards to say "Wait" to Picador.  Running down his points – see if you can follow his thinking, with my thoughts in parentheses: 

  • People don’t want to pay for hardcovers.  (Case closed!)
  • Paperbacks are beginning to get better coverage on review pages.  (What review pages?  Okay, maybe this is true; I can’t say one way or the other, but again, case closed, right?)
  • Picador should be wary of offending authors who feel that the hardcover adds prestige.  (Other than Sour Grapes Ian McEwan, who thinks this?)
  • Then:
    • If they dispense with hardbacks, they will have to put out larger print runs of paperbacks to justify publication; and they will find that the market is often resistant to new fiction, at any price.

      As a result, they will only take on authors whom they believe can sell the paperback print runs – a surefire recipe for conservative commissioning. The gap between the McEwans and the rest will grow. A policy that appears at first glance to be anti-elitist may turn out to have just the opposite effect.

Eh, this seems kind of shaky.  That’s why we have independent presses.  And it’s not like the next McEwan novel won’t be reviewed by every blog, newspaper, and magazine in the land.  And it’s not like publishers – the ones Clee seems to have in mind here – are exactly taking a gamble with most of the books they publish, hardcover or not. 

Nicholas Clee, were I a baker, you would not be the recipient of a baked good for your strangely counterintuitive arguments.

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