RARA-AVIS: Richard Barre, Publishers, and DotL

Reed Andrus (randrus@home.com)
Mon, 04 Oct 1999 04:59:17 -0700

> Date: Sun, 3 Oct 1999 09:51:43 -0400
> From: Kevin Smith <kvnsmith@colba.net>
> Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: Richard Barre and Midlist Crises
> Reed, speaking about Richard Barre, wrote:
> >Someone said he's been dropped because the chain stores
> >aren't selling enough of his books, and so his publishing house is
> >kow-towing to the buyers. Big problem being widely discussed among
> >writers these days.
> Gee, this topic seems familiar. I think I'm having DorothyL d骠 vu.

Hi Kevin!

Sorry about that! I did not mean to instigate the same kind of feeding frenzy that occurred in the other listserv.

> But regardless of whether you like Barre or not (alas, I'm still not
> convinced, although I keep trying, just because everyone thinks I should be
> a big fan), this is an ominous sign.

I guess you can count me in as a fan. I could criticize a murky plot point here and there, but I've generally enjoyed the four Wil Hardesty stories.

> It seems to me publishers have always watched the bottom line, and
> seemingly popular authors have always been dropped. But the truth is that
> publishers generally don't drop writers who are making them money, and
> usually drop those who don't. Perhaps things are a bit more cutthroat than
> they used to be (although I don't really know), but it's certainly nothing
> new.

Agreed. My reading bias unfortunately allows the loss of several cozy writers to wash over the top without creating too much gnashing of teeth
(except I know one or two of those ladies, and they're nice people who have bills to pay and children to raise). But when one of the harder writers loses his audience, I fidgit in my chair and wonder if all those nifty hardcovers will become collector's items.

Aside: Had a chance to pick up two John Shannon pbs yesterday, and failed to do so. Looks like a return trip to the store is in order.

Best regards,

... Reed

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