Literary agent Lynn Nesbit is interviewed in the latest issue of Poets & Writers (the version online is an extended one), in which she peers inside our nightmares:
Everybody talks about how the model for a writer's career has changed. You just talked about a book opening like a movie. There's this blockbuster mentality, especially for debut novels, with astronomical advances and very high sales expectations. How do you feel about that in relation to writers and their careers over the long haul?
Well, if it works, it's fine.… If they spend a lot and the book works, then everyone's happy and your career is launched. If they spend a lot and the book doesn't work, then it's a problem. Because as you know, everyone can see the numbers today. There is no fudging. And that's because of the chains. There are two or three big outlets. It used to be that we couldn't sell as many copies per book. We could argue that this is very good, this new chain system, because you can sell more copies.