Critical Linking: March 3, 2012


“Maybe the mode of doing it in print wasn’t appealing to editors or bean-counters,” said Mr. Kois, a former editor at New York magazine who helped develop its popular Vulture entertainment section. “So to my mind, I wanted to bring to Slate this idea of a concentrated, intense focus on books over the course of one weekend, where books essentially take the site over.

A monthly weekend books section. Can’t seem to get excited about this.


“We believe our new library e-pricing reflects the high value placed on perpetuity of lending and simultaneity of availability for our titles,” said Stuart Applebaum, a Random House spokesperson.

That quote is the PR equivalent of Sweet Chili Doritos. Nothing natural or understandable about it.


“In the publishing sector, endorsements from the Oprah Winfrey Book Club are found to be a business stealing form of advertising that raises title level sales without increasing the market size. The endorsements decrease aggregate adult fiction sales; likely as a result of the endorsed books being more difficult than those that otherwise would have been purchased.”

So, so interesting. I knew there had to be a downside when Oprah recommended that three-pack of Faulkner titles.


“But my point is simple: the majority of books do not earn out their advance, yet publishers stay in business… that alone should help you realize that “failing to earn out” does not equal “the publisher lost money.”

Whether it is books, film, music, or whatever, the answer to the “Who is making out better, the artist or the company?“, the answer is always, always the company.

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