A few years ago nobody knew what a coconut chip is. Many still don't. Educating people is one of the biggest challenges when introducing something unprecedented in the market. Weeks before we launched, Trader Joe's released their own private label coconut chip.
I piled cringe upon cringe Friday -- first because I read Steven Pinker's vivisection of Malcolm Gladwell's new collection, second because of what I found when I Googled a flub Pinker wielded against Gladwell.
If publishers can no longer accurately guess at an audience even for formerly safe categories like adult trade nonfiction, will they continue to gamble so much money on big advances for a small number of books whose success is increasingly difficult to predict?
While it's true that taste is subjective, I've never heard a convincing argument that it's better to dislike a food than to like it. It is certainly more fun to like things, and it is often far more convenient.