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Richard Nash

Richard Nash (@r_nash) is an independent publishing entrepreneur—VP of Community and Content of Small Demons, founder of Cursor, and Publisher of Red Lemonade. For most of the past decade, he ran the iconic indie Soft Skull Press for which work he was awarded the Association of American Publishers’ Miriam Bass Award for Creativity in Independent Publishing in 2005. Books he edited and published landed on bestseller lists from the Boston Globe to the Singapore Straits-Times; on Best of the Year lists from The Guardian to the Toronto Globe & Mail to the Los Angeles Times; the last book he edited there, Lydia Millet’s Love in Infant Monkeys, was selected as a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist. Last year the Utne Reader named him one of Fifty Visionaries Changing Your World and Mashable picked him as the #1 Twitter User Changing the Shape of Publishing. He has spoken on the history and future of reading, writing, and publishing across the world, from Melbourne to Toronto to Helsinki to Seoul—Chris Anderson characterizes his Publishing 3.0 talk as “the best I have ever seen.” Visit him online at



Illustration by John Ritter

What Is the Business of Literature?

Spring 2013 | Essays

Most other accounts of the contemporary business of literature are autobiographical, hagiographic, or histories of literature, avoiding the business and economics of it all. So why study a business that is sui generis, that isn’t even really a business—that, like America, is exceptional?