No denying, New York is the publishing center of America … And, it might even have been a good concept at one time under older business models that were more horizontal and where grouping tangental businesses in close proximity was desirable for expediency.
But, todays publishing landscape is everywhere, instantly … So, why does New York still have such a hold over the publishing industry?
Good question … Reluctance to change. Old habits are hard to break. Old power brokers don’t want to give up power (although it’s been steadily seeping away), etc., etc.
Is Publishing Too New York-centric?
The outsized influence New York, and Brooklyn in particular, has on the current literary scene is undeniable. It is the center of publishing in the United States.
But is it good for the other 99% of the country?
New York publishers have been accused of publishing books for each other – and the writers, for writing for each other. Has a kind of group-think has set in where people — consciously or not — are perhaps working to impress each other rather than a wider audience?
You often hear publishing personalities and literary journalists on the coasts moan that “the rest of America” doesn’t read books. To this I say, the rest of America does read, they just don’t necessarily want to read the books New York sometimes publishes. How many novels can someone in, say, Chicago or Atlanta, read about a twenty-something Manhattan editorial assistant, junior Wall Street trader, or cupcake shop owner in Cobble Hill looking for love?
But isn’t some of this our own fault. After all, with the end of the year lists, how is it that book critics in Denver, Minneapolis, Kansas City and San Diego all manage to come up with basically the same “top ten” book lists? Shouldn’t they be looking at more worthy regional titles? Nah, cause if they don’t weigh in on the big important books of the year, they won’t be taken seriously by their more-influential colleagues in New York.