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Andrew Sullivan’s Agent Needs Maalox

Not everybody is impressed by Nan Talese‘s belated jab at Oprah. Earlier this week, Andrew Sullivan held the Doubleday editor up as a prime example of what’s wrong with the publishing industry, “one of the shallowest, dumbest and most archaic in the U.S.” For Sullivan, that scene from the literary festival in Grapevine boils down to a bitter complaint from someone who got caught perpetuating the fraud of A Million Little Pieces. “Is Talese ashamed?” he asks. “No. Does she still have her job? Of course. It made money, and the people running the publishing industry have no other values but mercenary ones.”

Sullivan’s readers chime in with plenty more complaints about the biz. For one thing, nobody copyedits anymore, and then of course the pay sucks. This reinforcement spurs Sullivan on, as does his lingering frustration over the botched print run of The Conservative Soul. “Soon, print-on-demand may put the publishing houses out of business,” he warns. “It can’t happen soon enough.” And, to be honest, my guess is it probably won’t, either…depending on your definition of “soon.”

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