04 December 2005

Sorry about the short absence—we were taking turns with the flu around here. I do realize that's more information than you really want…

This is also the beginning of the annual slowest time in publishing. August is bad enough, with so many people on vacation; December—or, rather, Thanksgiving to the second week in January—is worse, with three holidays (one of them a four-day weekend) and kids home from school. Thus, most of the "publishing news" for the next month will actually consist of "retail sales of sheet-cellulose widgets news." The problem with that is that the industry (and bookstores) have already decided that sales will be down, and have been prepositioning themselves for a rather limp holiday season; thus, it isn't really "news" at all.

I suppose, though, that the softening sales for male impotence drugs might make a better, multiply ironic holiday sales story. At that rate, even Wall Street's notorious Christmas parties might seem a little limp this year.