Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Two for the Money

Date: 24 Jul 2005


Re your message below:

> No offense, Charles, and if I'm out of line here,
> feel free to disregard
> this missive, but I find this passage somewhat
> troubling:
> "I can tell you, though, that many people don't
> agree with you. Literally
> every week I get e- mail messages from people
> complimenting TWO FOR THE
> MONEY and asking us to reprint more of the novels in
> the Nolan series -- and
> we certainly don't get messages like that in
> response to every title we
> publish."
> It just doesn't sound like a discussion we ought to
> be having on RARA AVIS.
> I have two Hard Case Crime editions in my massive
> TBR list, Al Guthrie's
> KISS HER GOODBYE and Stansberry's CONFESSION, and I
> was considering
> commenting on one or both of them here once I had
> finished them, since RARA
> AVIS is the place for discussing HB/Noir fiction.
> Now I'm not so sure.
> After all, what if I don't like Stansberry's book
> and say so here? Can we
> have a discussion of its merits (they do sometimes
> get spirited around
> here), rather than having statements about how I'm
> entitled to my tastes,
> but MANY people liked it (after all, it won him an
> Edgar). If you take your
> statement above out to its natural conclusion, we
> ought to all be reading
> (or re-reading) and discussing Harry Potter books
> and Dan Brown's DaVinci
> Code. Do "popular" and "good" always go hand in
> hand in the publishing
> business?
> What happens if a bunch of us read Stephen King's
> comes out in HCC and write something critical of it
> here at RARA AVIS?

I think you're overeacting a bit here. Charles was doing nothing more than defending his editorial and business choice in reprinting Collins's early work while allowing that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.

And yes, hard as it is to swallow, in the publishing BUSINESS, "popular" and "good" are synonomous terms. That which is popular sells, that which sells generates profit, and, in business, profit is what distinguishes good from bad. That's the reality Charles, and every other publisher and editor in the book industry, has to deal with.

Charles is to be credited with trying to establish a business model in which "good" doesn't just refer to popularity, but to quality, and with defending his choices is a classy way that allows for the validity of opinions that disagree with his.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 24 Jul 2005 EDT