Paperback Love

The New York Times‘ Edward Wyatt asks a bunch of publishers and editors about their reasons for increasingly turning to paperback originals.

“In the last four or five years, it’s gotten hard to publish fiction by lesser-known authors, and even by some better-known authors,” said Morgan Entrekin, the publisher of Grove/Atlantic. And when a book fails in hardcover, booksellers often will limit their orders for a paperback edition, making it harder to sell the author’s next book. “When you’re taking back 50 to 70 percent of the hardcover copies you shipped,” Mr. Entrekin said, “the stores — rightfully so — are not willing to take another chance.”

There’s a picture of Entrekin with two of his paperback originals, both of them nominated for this year’s Orange Prize: Leila Aboulela’s Minaret and Alice Greenaway’s White Ghost Girls.