A Publisher’s Confession

Written in 1905, Walter Hines Page detailed the faults and errors of his literary peers. Writing anonymously, Hines disclosed his opinions regarding publishers.

New York Times reviewers criticized the North Carolinian for giving the book a misleading title that implied Page was confessing his shortcomings. The book, however, was praised for informing the general public concerning corruption within the publishing industry. For example, Page discussed why bad novels sold more than good ones: what was a popular topic and would sell was printed.  According to Page, the commercialization of literature manufactured low-priced books and cared not for their content.  It was quality over quantity.


“A Publisher’s Confession.” April 22, 1905. New York Times; Francis Browne ed., “The Literary Mart,” The Dial 1905.