LitKicks has asked a variety of book industry professionals (including publishers, authors, agents, editors, distributors, sales representatives, booksellers, librarians, critics and bloggers) a question: “Does literary fiction suffer from dysfunctional pricing?” Below is the record of a conversation that took place in September and October 2007.

Introduction and Project Goals

Levi Asher

Phase One: Primary Sources

Richard Nash (publisher, Soft Skull), Mark Sarvas (author, Harry, Revised), Scott Hoffman (agent, Folio)

Simon Lipskar (agent, Writer’s House), Keith Arsenault (sales, PGW/Perseus), Dave Weich (marketing director, Powell’s)

First Week Summary by Levi Asher

David Poindexter (publisher, MacAdam/Cage), Danielle Marshall (marketing/promotion, Powells), Kelly Nagle (librarian)

Alan Sorensen (Graduate School of Business, Stanford University), John Freeman (President, National Book Critics Circle), Ami Greko (marketing director, Folio Literary Management)

Phase Two: Debate and Discussion

The Case for Change by Levi Asher

Sarah Weinman (book critic, blogger), Tao Lin (author, Eeeee Eee Eeee, Bed), Ron Hogan (author, The Stewardess is Flying the Plane!, blogger)

Simon Lipskar (literary agent, Writer’s House), Kassia Krozser (blogger, Booksquare), Doug Seibold (publisher, Agate)

The Pleasures of Paperbacks by Jamelah Earle

Phase Three: Statistics, Estimates and Models

Figuring Out the Book Business by Levi Asher

Fantasy Publisher League, Part One (A Hypothetical Fiction Frontlist) by Mary Delli Santi

Fantasy Publisher League, Part Two (Simon Collins & Random Day’s Typical Year) by Mary Delli Santi

Fantasy Publisher League, Part Three (Ups and Downs in Simon Collins & Random Day’s Third Year) by Mary Delli Santi


On Critiquing the Industry by Levi Asher

Finale: A Plea From Paperback Readers by Levi Asher

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Litkicks will turn 30 years old in the summer of 2024! We can’t believe it ourselves. We don’t run as many blog posts about books and writers as we used to, but founder Marc Eliot Stein aka Levi Asher is busy running two podcasts. Please check out our latest work!