Eggers self-publishes second novel | Blogads

Eggers self-publishes second novel

by henrycopeland
Thursday, September 19th, 2002

Dave Eggers, author of “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius,” will issue his second novel himself and “sell it only through the McSweeney’s Web site and 100 or so independent bookstores., Barnes & Noble and other giant retailers are to be cut out of the action.” The WSJournal adds:

“Mr. Eggers seems to have taken as his playbook Jason Epstein’s ‘Book Business.’ Published last year, it ought to be required reading for serious writers everywhere. Mr. Epstein, a former editor at Random House and co-founder of the New York Review of Books, argues that the trend toward centralization in book publishing and retailing is coming to an end. In an environment where competition for bestsellers and name-brand authors has sent advances and marketing budgets soaring, profit margins among the mainstream houses are wafer thin. Chain bookstores, saddled with pricey real estate and high labor costs, must themselves bank on an ever-increasing supply of bestsellers; this reliance on quick turnover marginalizes serious, slower-selling books. But the chains are finding it ever more difficult to compete with the ruthless price slashing of Amazon, which will, at no extra cost, deliver to your doorstep. The whole middle-man apparatus of corporate publishing, argues Mr. Epstein, will totter toward obsolescence as e-book and print-on-demand technologies gain traction, reducing the need for costly warehousing and shipping. Someday, he maintains, writers will contract directly with independent editors and publicists, and the trade will revert to its roots as a cottage industry of like-minded souls banding together in fluid groupings around projects of mutual interest.”

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