I Don’t Know Why You Go To Extremes: On the book industry, money, and “Black Wednesday”

“If you got money

And you know it

Take it out ya pocket

And show it

And throw it…

If you’re getting mugged by everybody you see

Who hang over the wall of the VIP”

-Lil Wayne, “Got Money”

Ah, money. It’s a hot topic these days. As you may or may not have heard, depending upon how closely you follow the publishing-industry gossip-and-gabfest blogs (which, if you don’t write or work in books, is likely not at all, because the publishing industry has been not-good-at-all at best, insultingly condescending at worst, in making their communiqués relevant to the average-joe book-buyer), this past Wednesday has had the title of “Black Wednesday” perma-affixed to it with sticky-tape by all those inside of publishing from the top down. On the heels of it being officially announced that, yes, Virginia, there is a recession (happy R-day!), the hallowed halls of book publishers proceeded to, erm…begin to collapse in upon themselves. Massive, painful cuts happened nearly-simultaneously (or at least it appeared so in my RSS reader) at Simon and Schuster, Thomas Nelson, Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt, and Random House. The Random House cuts were the ones that shocked me the most of anything (despite the fact that, if you follow what’s going on, the Houghton-Mifflin shake up/down is producing the juiciest gossip) , because RH (that’s publishing abbreviation for ‘Random House”-see, that’s what I do, break it down for the common folk) has long been the large, lumbering book behemoth. There was also a ton of inspiration within the book that caused me to feel it was absolutely needed for our family to get a roofing company to take care of the most detrimental part of our home.… Read the rest