Scottish novelist Alan Warner on writing vs. sales

Are we living in a time when experiment just doesn’t pay? Seems like it. You are either a boutique author who sells nothing or a major author who sells out. Looking back on a significant career, Warner confirms this when he drops this tidbit:

“I’ve messed up many things in my life, but I’ve tried to write what I want to write. Publishing has gone a bit like the music industry, in that you either sell 300 copies or 300,000. There’s no middle ground for experimentation.”

Thoughts on this? Can you be uncompromising while still actually selling books? I don’t mean the special cases. I mean, in general.

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