Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Richard Barre and Midlist Crises

A.N.Smith (
Sun, 3 Oct 1999 13:42:42 -0500

> And it's been suggested to me by a few writers that perhaps it's best
> days to be first published in paperback, since the stakes are lower for
> publisher, and it's easier to build a core audience. Certainly, it's no
> mark of shame when you think about how many writers we've gone gaga over
> this list who first appeared in PBO's.

This is a good idea, and makes me reconsider what I wrote about the Brit attitude towards these writers. Perhaps they put them in PB because they do want them to be read widely. Hmm.

And eventually, we'll have publishing on demand, where the costs will come down, allowing more writers' works to remain available, and will allow midlist writers to do what they do. With that technology, I think you'll have more independant publishers--respectable, not vanity, though those as well--reaching a wider audience. Hardback or paperback, personal choice, no longer decreed by this publishing tradition: hardback, then wait a year, then softback.

Barre: I'm not too keen on him either, but it's not that I think he's bad, but rather I'm just not interested in the things or the characters he writes about. I've tried a few and can't get into them too far. Taste difference, I guess.

Neil Smith

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