The tone of this is angry, but I don’t think it’s overblown. Skibsrud must be going through so many mixed emotions right now.
I cannot, cannot, cannot believe that you have so far stood in the way of the very writer whose career you have an obligation to help.
Crack your freaken ego open and allow yourself to realize that this is about more than you and your precious books. This writer’s career is at stake.
The National Post reports today that the last Giller winner sold 75 000 copies. Those are not just books. Those are 75 000 readers who will follow Skibsrud on to her next book, enabling her to build a career for herself.
If you are unable to print books more quickly, you absolutely must allow someone else to make a mass market version of the book. And you must do that NOW.
My own collection of short stories was a finalist for the Giller in 1995. Any career I’ve had since then, any readership I’ve developed, has all come out of the fact that while my book was in demand, my publisher was able to provide copies. People picked up my book while it was in a little penumbra of the limelight. Those who liked what they saw have stuck with me.
You MUST provide the same opportunity to Skibsrud. Failure to do so would be a failure to understand the most basic of what a publisher is responsible to do for a writer.
Yours with teetering respect,