An author’s agent, Michael Sissons, calls for fewer books

A publisher writes to the New Statesman: ‘The Halcyon days are over, and the boom in books, which already looked a little shaky last Christmas, was dealt a major blow by the events of the winter, and does not show any signs of recovering this summer. Most booksellers complain that their stocks are dangerously high, and some even go so far as to say that they have never been offered so many new books as during the last few months. They are cutting down orders right and left.’ A publisher writes to the Spectator: ‘I found myself wondering aloud where “literature” had got to. Almost every book seemed to deal with some more or less specialised subject.’ Another publisher writes: ‘These are hard times for authors … new authors, unless they are promising enough to elbow their established competitors aside, are denied publication.’

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