The Question (ID Number 71)...
...and the response:This isn't something that can ever be "known" by anyone but me---but, to anyone who knows either the history of publishing or my personal history, the idea itself is improbable on the face of it. Concocting new, paradigm-challenging theories is hardly a promising way to make money. I think, for example, of Soren Kierkegaard, who spent his life writing paradigm-challenging books---books read by a very small audience and for the most part critically scorned and derided; far from making money off his books, he lived modestly off his patrimony, which was exhausted by the time he died. During the twelve years I spent working on the book that ultimately became Ishmael, I had virtually no income and no promise of any income from this book. Two literary agents who saw it at various stages, far from seeing it a money-maker, assured me that I was wasting my time on a book that would never even be published, much less make money. Any author who "just wants to make money" would be very poorly advised to choose Ishmael as a model.
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