I take issue w/ the fact that I'm bashing the industry per se--I see this as trying to open up some sort of constructive dialog--but beauty (like abuse) is in the eye of the beholder. The part about the pay phone is true.
Here's the link which may or may not work (I don't know, I'm not a Crain's subscriber) so, for the second time in less than a week (apologies, also, to Michael Cader), I violate various copyright & proprietary regs by posting a cut-and-pasted version of the article.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK [Crain's New York Business, published on November 08, 2004 ]
Strong words about books
An undercover blogger is bashing the book industry. A veteran New York editor started BookAngst 101 last month out of frustration with how poorly books are selling. Preferring to remain anonymous, he goes by the moniker Mad Max Perkins, after the legendary Scribner's editor.
"It occurred to me there wasn't anybody on the inside of publishing talking in straight-on terms about the business," says Mad Max, who is so leery of being outed that he spoke for this interview from a pay phone near his office.
He hopes to get publishing executives, authors and booksellers to share ideas. "We all know that if we don't figure out some way to fix our business, it's going to be in the toilet, if it isn't already," he says.
So far, the site features unflattering commentary on New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani, among others, and a call to authors to contribute confidential posts about their experiences with publishers.
Literary bloggers are welcoming the new addition. "I'm so glad there's an editor out there who's willing to talk about some of the crises in the business," says author and blogger M.J. Rose.
"Writing is considered a profession, and I don't think it is a profession. I think that everyone who does not need to be a writer, who thinks he can do something else, ought to do something else. Writing is not a profession but a vocation of unhappiness. I don't think an artist can ever be happy."
PRACTICAL MARKETING [Courtesy Zornhau, 2005]
"They should put the 1st couple of pages up in subway adverts. Having read them several times, you'd feel compelled to try the book - if it was any good."
PLATE OF SHRIMP [Courtesy Alex Cox’s REPO MAN, circa 1984]
"A lot of people don't realize what's really going on. They view life as a bunch of unconnected incidences and things. They don't realize that there's this like lattice of coincidence that lays on top of everything. I'll give you an example, show you what I mean. Suppose you're thinking about a plate of shrimp. Suddenly somebody will say like "plate" or "shrimp" or "plate of shrimp" out of the blue, no explanation. No point in looking for one either. It's all part of a cosmic unconsciousness."
- ► 2005 (75)
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