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Michael Wolff goes to town on the book publishing industry, namely HarperCollins, for pushing “vanity books” instead of “real books.” Front and center is Sarah Palin‘s Inuit romance novel, Pantsuits with Wolves:
Publishers publish fake books because, if you have an “author” who has some larger cause to promote, the publisher gets free promotion. What the publisher has traded for such an abundance of promotion is its own brand. HarperCollins does not really believe Sarah Palin has written a valuable book—or even that it is really a book, not in the way that HarperCollins has historically understood books, or in the way that people have counted on HarperCollins to have understood a book.
So true! There’s all this other stuff, though—”[Books are] fake. A lie. So many are just simply not written by the people the publisher tells you they are written by. Somebody should sue.”—that I can’t get behind, not since I finished Jonathan Lethem‘s Chronic City on Saturday and cried myself to sleep. That book was definitely not a lie.