Nay, ’tis strange, ’tis very strange, that is the
brief and the tedious of it.
All’s Well That Ends Well, II, iii
Here in The Prime of Miss Jane Friedman, I surely hope you took in the comments following the excellent Writing she Unboxed here yesterday.
Fiddler on the You Know What was invoked at one point. Sunrise, sunset. And the comments still are trickling in.
So, you know, it happened about the time I fell off that lump of concrete we call a platform. Looked ungainly (when do I not?) but we were all unbalanced, not to say staggered, by the industry study our good colleague Donald Maass brought in, particularly its assertion that “the greatest influence on book purchases, by far, are store displays and word of mouth.”
But stores? Stores? I think they meant bookstores. What bookstores? Authors are supposed to be doing advance work for their books in stores?
The only person I know who’s even seen the inside of a bookstore lately is Jonah Lehrer. And that’s only because Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (I miss Brace & World, don’t you?) seems to have read this same study and sent him, bodily, on a tour of every single remaining book emporium in the country. Imagine. I think he was back in time for a late lunch. [Read more…]