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Department of Publishing Obvious: Nobody Knows Anything

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Wow, I’m sure the entire world needed the New York Times business section to tell them that the publishing industry doesn’t work like every other business because oops, they can’t really predict bestsellers and big advances don’t always correlate to big sales and small advances can break wide and all the other tropes and cliches associated with this wonderfully amorphous world we exist in. Or as Janklow & Nesbit‘s Eric Simonoff said that whenever he discusses the book industry with people in other industries, “they’re stunned because it’s so unpredictable, because the profit margins are so small, the cycles are so incredibly long, and because of the almost total lack of market research.”

Really, about the only new thing I learned was that Curtis Sittenfeld got $40K for the two book deal that would result in PREP and MAN OF MY DREAMS, which a) was more than I expected b) a pretty good investment by Random House.

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