While I respect the need for publishers to vet titles for commercial potential, there’s something inherently broken about a system that rejects titles through this narrow lens. What about brilliant long tail works with potential audiences of only 100 or 500? The publishing industry can’t support these. Publishers also cannot accurately predict which titles will become huge hits, and which will flop, so they routinely overlook great works.
For the last couple centuries, publishers have controlled the means of book production and distribution. This is too much power concentrated in the hands of too few people whose business interests don’t always align with the interests of authors and readers.