Incentives? Or Schmears?
BISMARCK SAID THAT IT IS UNWISE to look too closely into the way we make our laws or our sausages. You may be able think of some other things that don't bear up too well under intense scrutiny. High on my list is what publishers, particularly mass-market paperback publishers, have to do these days to get their merchandise displayed in and promoted by bookstores. It might be described as publishing's dirty little secret, except that it's not so little. In fact, it's become so pervasive that it touches everybody in publishing, even though not everybody is aware of it yet.
In fact, not everybody wants to know about it. A friend of mine, a top-notch paperback salesman, phoned me a while back to tell me he had just been ...