Monday, August 18, 2008

Business versus Literature?

Mark Liam Piggott writes interestingly (and bravely) for the Guardian blog asking whether literary agents are any longer helpful to literary writers, or whether the pressures of the market have turned them into gatekeepers barring work which, however excellent as literature, is unlikely to be profitable. The many comments are interesting. Susan Hill (with her publishing hat on) points to the Nielsen book scan which reveals the sales of any previous book by an author, and thus determines whether or not they are likely to be invested in again, pointing out as she has on previous occasions that publishing is above all a business and that 'fine words butter no parsnips'. Though whether this is a defence or a condemnation depends where you're coming from with regard to the matter of literary fiction, I guess...

Like Piggott's, Nasim Marie Jafry's novel the State of Me, which I review on my other blog, is another interesting case of a novel held back by the commercial requirements of agents and then making it to publication without an agent.

1 comment:

zang said...

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