Thursday, January 13, 2005

I'm Still Mad About Mad Max Perkins*

More Mad Max Perkins delectables: Gerry Howard at Doubleday and Marjorie Braman at HarperCollins talk about the dreaded midlist. Two quick quotables, and then you're on your way over to Max's house to read the whole thing (but please come back here for some tea when you're done)...

From Howard: "Stick to your knitting and you eventually get a hell of a lot of sweaters."

And from Braman: "So yes, for two reasons, the midlist is the back bone of publishing. One, because everyone needs to spice up their hotdogs, even if they don't eat hotdogs every day; and two, because you never know, one day everyone wakes up and on the very same day, has a taste for something that cries out for mustard. And then you got yourself a bestseller."

Honestly, that's true, writer-friends. Keep writing and writing and writing 'til you can't write no more and eventually you too will have your slot at Barnes and Noble (or WH Smith, as the case may be). And you might just have a mega-hit on your hands. Stranger things have happened....

*Here, "I'm still mad" means "I'm still carried away with enthusiasm," not "I'm still carried away with intense anger." Just, you know, for the record.