Jane Friedman

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

As readers of this e-zine know, I started out in the book business—first in publicity departments and later as a traveling salesman calling on bookstores, wholesalers and libraries in the East and Midwest. As a salesman, I used to get commissions. As an author of books, I receive royalties. The killer on any commission or royalty statement is the line, “Returns”—unsold books returned to the publisher for credit on which commissions and royalties are deducted. Returns have been the bane of book publishing for more than 70 years. The announcement that HarperCollins will launch a new division that will not accept returns from booksellers

Judith Regan, a 53-year-old self-proclaimed hottie, has been called by Vanity Fair “the Angriest Woman in Media.” She reportedly cussed out employees on a regular basis with the “f” word, the “s” word and, in doing so, routinely alluded to male and female anatomies—her own included—with various “c” words. According to one former editor, Regan went through 18 personal assistants in 2005. “Say what you want about the fearless, foul-mouthed former publisher of ReganBooks,” wrote Steve Kettmann in the San Francisco Chronicle, “it would be hard to deny she has probably been the single most influential force in publishing over the past decade.” She

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