This is a brilliant assessment of the publishing industry today. The most chilling to me is number 4: if you are lucky enough to hit the target: “the corporation will see a spike in your profit and sort of autistically, or at least automatically, raise the profit goal for your division by some corporately predetermined amount for the following year.”
The other chilling thing is that my husband, one of the readers Mr. Menaker prizes the most–the one who buys hard-cover literary novels when they first come out, before they’ve won the Booker or the National Book Award–asked for a Kindle. I didn’t know what to say. But I said a lot anyway. Or maybe I didn’t. I think I held up a book, ran my finger along its cover, opened it, sniffed the glue wafting up from its sturdy spine. He said, “I know, but I can buy a new book for $9.”
And as a writer who has been pursuing publication for so damned long, these are hard things to hear, although I have heard them before and before and all the time. But but but
I write to keep my soul alive, and hope springs eternal.