Roger L. Simon

Double Retreat

Little Brown is doing the right thing in pulling Harvard student Kaavya Viswanathan’s novel from the stores, so I will do the right thing in a (financially) much smaller way and apologize to Markos Zuniga for my snotty comments about his book sales. I should have known better because, as I noted below, it’s been a number of years since one of mine sold very well. Book sales are mysterious. When I have asked publishers for an ad for one of my novels, they have frequently told me “Ads don’t sell books.” When I have mentioned a good review and wondered why the book wasn’t selling (again hinting at an ad), they have told me “Reviews don’t sell books.” So what sells books? Beats me. For a while I thought the Internet might – and it does. But only to a point. So far I haven’t seen it push anybody’s work onto the bestseller list, or even that close to it. In any case, I wish Markos the best and, again, apologize.

UPDATE: More above.