Nov 17, 2008, 11:32AM

A Small Publisher hits it big with a Nobel Laureate

The 2008 winner for the Nobel Prize in Literature, Jean Marie Le Clezio, is almost completely unpublished in the U.S. The small press Godine, however, has been publishing Le Clezio's The Prospector in English since 1983. What will they do to make the most of this?

SE: You've mentioned elsewhere that at the time the Nobel was announced, Godine had about 400 copies of The Prospector, out of 6,000 originally published 15 years ago. You've since gone back to press on a paperback edition. What's the run on this, and what have orders like been so far?DP: That's right, we had 400 copies of The Prospector in stock to ship that day—thank God we print with quality material, or it all probably would've been unsalable after 15-odd years. Our books practically don't age; it's astounding. Someday a goat herder will find them in ancient clay pots in mountain caves. Now we're reprinting the hardcover and producing a new softcover as fast as a little house can, doing what is probably a modest run by the big-boys' standards; it's hard to say in this climate what kind of sales a book like this will get over the course of a year, especially where we don't have marketing capabilities as extensive as the conglomerates. Godine doesn't have a newspaper or movie studio or a radio station. Plus this is our first Nobel. Notice I say first. We're such optimistic folk.

More at Conversational Reading.


Register or Login to leave a comment