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Author Reihan Salam: the anxiety of publication

August 11, 2008 | 12:28 pm


Reihan Salam is co-author of "Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream," reviewed today in the L.A. Times.  In one of his posts at The American Scene, he writes about the anxiety of publishing a book, hoping that it'll find its audience.

This book ain’t exactly an airport thriller by Dean Koontz, so I’m a little worried that it won’t be restocked. The economic dimension of the book-selling business is fascinating and baffling to me. On reflection, books are manufactured goods, often manufactured domestically. They are things that have to be moved around from place to place. The consolidation of the book-selling business presumably means that trend-spotters and buyers at Borders and Barnes & Noble and Wal-Mart make big bets regarding which books will likely move, and of course publishers make bets of their own when it comes to print runs....

I did sense from early on that the [book's] argument would resonate with people, but not necessarily the kind of people who buy hardcover books as soon as they come out — that is, I thought the arguments would resonate with the kind of voters we had in mind, most of whom have a lot on their plates.

In fact, his book is available — online, at least — at Walmart.

— Carolyn Kellogg

Photo of Reihan Salam by the Pew Internet Forum