Still listening to the car radio. Long piece on NPR about how Amazon is destroying the publishing business. Some discussion of the Justice Dept suit against Apple and the big publishers alleging price fixing. The NPR speaker claimed that Justice was handing the book business over to Amazon. More unclarity followed.
NPR claimed that the average literary fiction book only sold 200 copies a YEAR. Wow. Even at $30 a copy, that's only $6000 in sales, not enough to pay for setting type. Apparently genre fiction, romances, science fiction, westerns, and adventure novels are doing much better than "literary fiction". Could it be that "literary fiction" is boring stories about loser protagonists? I haven't bothered to read "literary fiction" since Hemingway died, and that was a long time ago.
Could it be that the old line publishing houses, all bought up and merged by a bunch of suits, simply can no longer find and print worthwhile new authors? I'm thinking of Tom Clancy, writer of a dozen best sellers, who had to go to the Naval Institute Press to get his "Hunt for Red October" published. None of the regular publishers had the brains to snap up this promising new author and publish his book. Could it be that Amazon can undercut all the old line publishing houses, which don't seem to be able to do anything except print books from their old line of established authors?