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Tag: profit

In defence of profit

I was recently at a lunch where the discussion turned to some subscription service that a few of the people had tried. They compared their favourable experiences and then one of them said the best thing about this service was that they didn’t make a profit – they just reinvest the money back into the business. Everyone around the table thought it was indeed the best part.

It upsets me that profit is such a dirty word in my circle of friends. I know it’s sort of hip now to profess to hate ‘greed’, but some people do it to an extent where it seems they think that any time somebody profits financially from something, it’s evil. But profit-making is actually one of the morally best things you can do, and more people should be trying to make a profit.


To publish good books or profitable books, that is not the question

Last weekend I went to a party with some non-publishing folk, which is a rare occurrence and never fails to make me feel like a circus animal. People ask you what you do, and then exclaim ‘How exciting!’ and ‘That must be interesting!’, and then ask you uncomfortable questions you don’t have the answer to. Like, ‘Do you think publishers should publish books that make money or books that are good?’ This actually happened, and after only about a minute of warm-up. Hardly fair.

I said on instinct that I thought the former, but then they turned the screws on me and we ended up agreeing on a compromise: Publishing profitable books allows publishers to publish good books, so they should publish both. But now that I’ve given it some more thought I would like to go back to my earlier, less forgiving view. See, a couple of things nagged at me about the compromise…