Authors Between the Covers


Why do publishers lie? Author Michael Levin explains

New York Times author Michael Levin has written, co-written, or ghostwritten more than 100 books, of which eight have hit the bestseller list.

He is an Amherst College graduate, a Columbia Law School-trained attorney, and a non-practicing member of the Massachusetts bar. He served for many years as a member of the Authors Guild Council, and as Treasurer of the Authors Guild Foundation.

And given his background, Levin has big insights into the publishing industry—including why publishers are loath to provide accurate sales figures.

“There is no equivalent of gold records in the book publishing industry,” he explains. “That’s because sales numbers are almost impossible to come by, and the numbers you can track down simply cannot be verified.”

Publishers are loath to provide accurate sales figures, for two reasons, Levin insists.

  • One is that they don’t want authors to know how many copies they sold, so that they don’t have to pay all the royalties due the authors. Second, they’re embarrassed by how few copies most books sell.
  • Publishers control sales data the way the former Soviet Union controlled data regarding the sale of wheat, with about as little honesty and transparency.

So what’s an author to do?

• Download our podcast interview with Levin, right.

• Click here to read Levin’s article: Why Publishers Will Tell You Anything But the Truth.

• Click here to read his piece: What That Penguin/Random House Merger Really Means.

About The Inkandescent Entrepreneur Show: What’s Your Story?

Bringing the voices of small-business owners to the radio waves is the goal of The Inkandescent Radio Show, which launched in the fall of 2012 on the Entrepreneur Podcast Network.

Hosted by journalist, publicist, author, and entrepreneur Hope Katz Gibbs, the show will spotlight the Entrepreneurs of the Month featured on her monthly business magazine,, — as well as the Truly Amazing Women she has interviewed for her book project,

Gibbs will also be interviewing the bestselling authors, nationally renowned artists, and expert columnists featured in Be Inkandescent magazine, and on her popular networking website,, which lists hundreds of the best networking events—and professionals—in seven East Coast cities. Plus, she’ll be talking to top restaurateurs, chefs, foodies, and hoteliers whom she spotlights in her “From Soup to Nuts” reviews.

Promoting, educating, and inspiring entrepreneurs is the mission of The Inkandescent Group, LLC — a PR, marketing, design, and publishing company that helps small businesses get the visibility they need to glow and grow.

So, what’s your story? If you’d like to be interviewed on The Inkandescent Entrepreneur Show,,, send Hope Katz Gibbs an email:

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