A Labor of Love

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In an essay in The Millions, Dominic Smith sets out to answer the question, “How many novelists are at work in America?” Despite panic about the death of the novel, “more novels are being written and published… than at any other time in U.S. history.” There are a few hundred thousand Americans writing books that might very well be largely ignored.

That a novelist is nothing like a small business entrepreneur is rather obvious. For one thing, novelists typically don’t assess the markets to see if there’s a demand for their labor of love before they begin production.


Serena Candelaria is a Rumpus intern, and a self-proclaimed fiction addict. This summer, she worked at 29th Street Publishing and began writing a novella. She is currently a senior at Yale, where she studies Literature. More from this author →