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The Word from New York: On the publishing front, as my inside contact tells me, the picture is getting grimmer for fiction writers. More and more scribes, even those working within the industry, according to this veteran editor, are turning to the new publishing models and technologies to bring out their work, as it gets tougher and tougher for first-time authors to break in.

Again, it comes back to the crushing overhead that publishers—now appendages of huge media conglomerates—have to contend with, thanks to the bean counters. No publisher can afford to bring out a modest book by a promising writer if it can’t sell at least 50,000 copies. Which is insanity.

And yet, as M.J. Rose points out in numerous of her columns for Wired, the number of fiction writers who can sell and build an audience through print-on-demand and self-publishing is much smaller than the number of non-fiction writers who can do so….

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