The minute you try to talk business with him he takes the attitude that he is a gentleman and a scholar, and the moment you try to approach him on the level of his moral integrity he starts to talk business.
—Raymond Chandler (1888–1959) American Novelist
To me a book is a message from the gods to mankind; or, if not, should never be published at all. A message from the gods should be delivered at once. It is damnably blasphemous to talk about the autumn season and so on. How dare the author or publisher demand a price for doing his duty, the highest and most honorable to which a man can be called?
—Aleister Crowley (1875–1947) English Occultist, Mystic, Magician
In matters of truth the fact that you don’t want to publish something is, nine times out of ten, a proof that you ought to publish it.
—G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936) English Journalist, Novelist, Essayist, Poet
If another Messiah was born he could hardly do so much good as the printing-press.
—Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–99) German Philosopher, Physicist
Having books published is very destructive to writing. It is even worse than making love too much. Because when you make love too much at least you get a damned clarte that is like no other light. A very clear and hollow light.
—Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961) American Author, Journalist, Short Story Writer
No publisher should ever express an opinion on the value of what he publishes. That is a matter entirely for the literary critic to decide. I can quite understand how any ordinary critic would be strongly prejudiced against a work that was accompanied by a premature and unnecessary panegyric from the publisher. A publisher is simply a useful middle-man. It is not for him to anticipate the verdict of criticism.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
When you publish a book, it’s the world’s book. The world edits it.
—Philip Roth (1933–2018) American Novelist, Short-story Writer
As repressed sadists are supposed to become policemen or butchers so those with an irrational fear of life become publishers.
—Cyril Connolly (1903–74) British Literary Critic, Writer