Conversations In the Book Trade

Deadlines and line dancing which pertains to deadlines will keep me occupied for the better part of today. So pardon the silence while I clack away on the keyboard. In the meantime, I should observe that Finn Harvor has managed to extract some possibly interesting answers from me on the publishing industry, e-books, the Internet, which mediums work best for fiction, online bookstores, literary agents, and numerous other topics.

(Also, as both the Washington Post‘s Bob Thompson and The New York Times‘s Motoko Rich observed this morning, the NEA’s outgoing chairman Dana Gioia seems to believe that the rise in blogs and online reading over the past five years had no effect on the rise in American fiction reading, but had everything to do with The Big Read program. What next? Will Gioia be attempting to persuade us that he invented the Internet? I also love how the NEA’s smugness, emerging from research director Sunil Iyengar in the Thompson article, is on full display in relation to genre. “Literary” doesn’t imply “highbrow,” says Iyengar. And that goes for mysteries, which the report recognized as the most popular genre. Well, considering that Kipen and company were actively pushing The Maltese Falcon as one of the Big Read choices last year, it seems to me that the NEA is eating a cold bowl of hypocritical stew.)

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