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Daring Publishing

“One might argue that it’s easy enough to criticize from outside the world of profit margins. But I think that even in this climate – maybe especially in the climate – publishers would benefit from a more daring and honest mode of decision making, one in which the virtues of the thing itself were allowed to outweigh hypothetical projections of its marketability. What if the primary question were not Will it sell? but Is it good? . . . I realize, of course, that ‘good’ is not some kind of simple universal category . . . We need diversity of informed, sophisticated opinion in publishing, just as we need it in every sphere of life. What we don’t need is a relentless march toward the middle, a huddling together in the safest spot. We don’t need publishing decisions driven by some algorithmic notion of what the greatest number of people might be most likely to buy.” Christina Thompson, Harvard Review #38

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