1. Boris Wertz
'The publishing industry is one of those rare businesses where the producers very rarely listen to consumers.' Boris Wertz, operating chief at Abebooks.
Link from Galleycat in a discussion of LibraryThing, which you might wish to check out for yourself. Start with the article in the Wall Street Journal, perhaps; though it contains a distressing number of typos for a leading newspaper. Or you might want to go straight to LibraryThing itself.
At first sight LibraryThing seems to be another Who Writes Like, which I mentioned the other day. And it's not, says the founder, a dating agency.
I used to catalogue all my books at one time. But then I grew up.
2. Jason Pinter
'That’s why it’s easier for Iowa MFAs who’ve published in Glimmer Train to get agents and book deals. They’ve proven they can hack it at the highest levels.' Jason Pinter on Buzz Balls & Hype.
Doing an Iowa MFA and appearing in Glimmer Train proves you can hack it at the highest level? No wonder the book business is in trouble.
Glimmer Train -- of which I had not previously heard, and of which I do not particularly wish to hear again; ever -- turns out to be, to no one's surprise, yet another small literary magazine. It offers a newsletter for 'serious writers' (which usually means those who take themselves terribly seriously and consider it an insult if others fail to accept them at their own valuation; not the most mature of attitudes).
Thanks, but I think I'll stick to Victorian pornography.
3. Dan Franklin
'So, as I am constantly telling the editors who work for me, one of their key tasks - as well as editing text - is to sell their books in the internal market. It's their job to enthuse sales and marketing, the people to whom the booksellers will listen.' Dan Franklin, publishing director of Jonathan Cape.
Dan Franklin I regard as a sound man, by and large, and he had an article in the Sunday Telegraph (link from booktrade.info) describing two rather different publishing editors. One was the hands-on backroom boy, John Blackwell, and the other was Tom Maschler.
Blackwell was the very old-fashioned type of editor who actually read books, and extremely closely at that: on one occasion he rang Louis de Bernieres and told him that, in describing the suspension of an Italian jeep he had got it all wrong. For the most part, he stayed in his small office.
Maschler, by contrast, was an outgoing, gregarious sort, and a natural salesman. But neither man, Franklin reckons, constitutes a suitable model for today. In the current market, an editor needs to be a mixture of both.