"As a publisher I try to be optimistic but you also have to be realistic."
Here’s an enlightening interview–Morgan Entrekin on Publishing, Partying and Promoting, by Suzanne Dottino. I loved this bit:
And if you set yourself up as the media so frequently does, it only focuses on these big advances only on those big successes. I think it perverts people’s expectations. What I try to do is to manage their expectations by saying, “Go through this experience, if we sell six or eight thousand copies, you’ve doubled the amount that John Irving sold on his first book – is that so bad?” As a publisher I try to be optimistic but you also have to be realistic. That is the key thing.