Uncategorized | March 07, 2005

There is writing and there is the business of writing, which is to say, publishing. And for those of us who celebrate great literature, past, present, and future, irrespective of the financial bottom line, there’s more bad news. A recent article in Crain’s New York Business chronicles the shift at Random House “away from its highbrow heritage and toward the lowbrow commercialism that marks most of its competitors.” It points out that publishers “desperate to keep their revenues growing” have turned to diet and yoga books as means to a profitable end. The article quotes Lorraine Shanley, a principal of Market Partners International, a publishing consultancy: “Lifestyle, how-to and makeover titles are easier to market.” The best-selling authors of 2004 for Random House? Donald Trump and Clay Aiken.

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