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Literary versus commercial fiction

23 June 2008

'America has a ridiculously divisive line between literary and commercial fiction. One New York Times reviewer skewers me annually, but the best revenge is that review coming outthe same week that you have two books at number one on the bestseller lists. I'll get slagged by critics in the UK too, but I defy them to be able to say that it's not a well-written book...

'Early on I had to choose whether to go towards literary or commercial fiction. Literary fiction gets you the accolades and awards but no marketing budget, a small print run, and no one can find your books in a bookstore. Commercial fiction has marketing, advertising, larger print runs, and you are reaching people which, ultimately, was what I wanted to do. If I happened to slip them a well-written book at the same time, then so be it.'

Jodi Picoult in the Independent on Sunday