The L.A. Times had a story on Sunday with an interesting premise:
"This fall, the largest number of new titles by brand-name authors in recent memory is hitting bookstores, and the publishing world is asking itself an unusual question: Can there be too many good books?"
The article suggests that publishers are counting on the last quarter to rescue a year described as "financially lackluster." There are an unusually high number of books due for release by bestselling authors. The blockbuster writers include: Isabel, Allende, Margaret Atwood, David Baldacci, Michael Connelly, Michael Crichton, Thomas Harris, Stephen King, Robert Ludlum, James Patterson, Colin Powell, and Thomas Pynchon.
All of these books are scheduled for release before Thanksgiving.
This literary surfeit leaves publishers scrambling to find ways to publicize their authors. The normal goal of snagging a television appearance becomes less likely as the heavy hitters secure the best spots. "So you have to think outside the box," said David Rosenthal, publisher of Simon & Schuster.
"Indeed, publishers are betting that the sheer number of hot titles, many of them from authors with huge fan bases, will generate heavy bookstore traffic and online buying, which benefits all of them." The hope is that the abundance of new books will prompt consumers who were planning to buy only one book to buy two or three instead.
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