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Re: Readin', wRitin', and Radio (yak)
- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Subject: Re: Readin', wRitin', and Radio (yak)
- From: Charles Alexander <chax@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 21 May 1997 15:50:27 -0700
- In-reply-to: <199705211437.HAA06383@pantano.theriver.com>
- Message-id: <199705220017.RAA20936@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.EDU>
- Sender: "The Book Arts: binding, typography, collecting" <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>With this statement I must disagree. Fiscal constraints have *always*
>guided the publishing industry, from the smallest cottage press or
>individual to the largest international conglomerate.
>Either the book must pay for itself, or the publisher must have a source of
>other income to offset the (ongoing?) loss.
More or less, possibly. But lots of in-between. With small press (cottage
seems an antiquated word here) literary publishers, a lot have gone into
debt, sometimes never come out. Others have been constrained fiscally in
terms of 'how' they might produce books, but have still managed to do it,
without the book paying for itself or having much income to cover losses.
You just try to make the losses as minimal as possible. It has been shown
that a blank piece of paper has a certain value, and that as soon as a poem
is printed on it, that value is lessened -- speaking strictly marketplace
here, that seems to be true.
>It's the loss of the independent *bookstore* and the shrinkage of the
>reading publis that is the real loss. B&N etc will not carry a book that
>is not of reasonably wide interest. Our local indies carry all manner of
I do hear this a lot, but if it's true, then your indies are more
courageous than most indies I've known. I love to support the indies, but I
know a lot of them that just try to be decent general bookstores, a la
Barnes & Noble, and only a few that try to carry independent presses, local
presses, things that appeal to small markets, etc. I wish I knew more.
Sometimes I think more would survive if they REALLY distinguished
themselves as considerably different from the chains. Still, that said,
given a choice, I go to the independents.
charles alexander / chax press / chax@xxxxxxxxxxxx