“Calling yourself depressed when you’re a writer seems so redundant.” On a year in reading Infinite Jest with Anna Fitzpatrick at Hazlitt. Be sure to check out the new fan-designed cover for the twentieth anniversary edition of the book.
Is all publicity good publicity? Are all reviews—even bad ones—good for books? The answer, according to a new study [pdf] by the journal Marketing Science, depends on whether the writer is well known or unknown. The study examined the impact of a New York Times review on the sales of more than 200 hardcover titles. For books by established writers, a negative review led to a 15% decrease in sales. For unknown authors, a negative review increased sales by a healthy 45%.
“Far more than any other medium, books contain civilizations, the ongoing conversation between present and past. Without this conversation we are lost. But books are also a business….” Jason Epstein explains how publishing works—and why, increasingly, it doesn’t, at the New York Review of Books. (via)
If you’re still looking for spring break plans, why not travel to a fictional place? In the weirdest tourism trend lately, travelers are visiting the real places made famous by fiction, including the Ghostbusters firehouse and the Overlook Hotel from The Shining.