Thursday, October 09, 2008

In the "Yes, But..." Department

Margaret Drabble, as quoted in the Independent about pressure from her publishers to "dumb down" her work:
I do feel publishers are under very strong pressure to sell books rather than encourage long-term readers.
Well, yes. In the same way that stereo manufacturers are under strong pressure to sell speakers rather than encourage long-term audiophilia. The latter is what we in business call a "nice to have," while the former is a requirement to stay in business.

Encouraging long-term readers is a good thing, of course, and contributes to the health of the overall book business. But it isn't, and can never be, a publisher's primary goal. And I would hope that Dame Margaret would be happy to have publishers who really strongly want to sell copies of her books.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well technically, Dame Margaret said her publishers were not asking her to dumb down her books; they were just talking to her about new marketing strategies of her books. She just has a "feeling" that something is wrong. I suspect that feeling comes from a general dislike of any marketing and promotion that her generation of authors tends to have.

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