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Publish and be small

It is not a happy time for big publishers in Britain. But Andrew Franklin, who recently left Penguin to set up his own company, Profile Books, sees good times ahead for nimble independent houses

By Andrew Franklin   October 1996

Publishing is strange. It is the rocky shoreline where the deep waters of literature meet the terra firma of business, profits and shareholders. Too often authors die, gasping for breath on the beach and publishers sink in the cruel waters.

In the last few years, climatic changes have led to more fatalities than ever. Authors are finding it difficult because the big publishers have trimmed their lists. Although some 8,000 novels were published in Britain last year, it is harder for first time novelists and “marginal” books to be published, and far less time is spent on editing and production.

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