“I mean, if I was publishing a book, I’d get paid more,” he said.
He still plans to take his big swings back to traditional outfits and is working on a novella to be published by Random House.
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Substack has cash to burn. It has raised approximately $83 million at a valuation of $650 million, and most recently acquired Cocoon, a social media app powered by subscription and does not contain any ads.
Mr. Rushdie has always been a maximalist on the page and in life. His novel is a highly stylistic blend of magical realism and meta-dramatic storytelling, stories within stories told by many of my storytellers. He has had an adventurous personal life and has been married several times. In many ways, Substack seems a natural place for Mr. Rushdie. Their catholicity of tastes and interests often lends itself to the elaborate (sometimes shapeless) letters that already make up Substack’s thousands of newsletters.
Still, Mr. Rushdie thinks the written word has stopped when it comes to the web.
“I think that, with this new world of information technology, literature hasn’t really found its original place there yet,” he said.
He said he liked Substack’s ability to experiment. “Whatever comes to my mind, it gives me a way to say something immediately, without intermediaries or gatekeepers,” Mr. Rushdie said.
He offered a taste of a colorful work tackling everything from Shakespeare to the death of Osama bin Laden in “Languages of Truth,” an essay collection published this year. Critics criticized the book, a Call This is the “confused vision of this century”. His most recent work of fiction, “Quichote,” is a postmodern retelling of “Don Quixote.” received a similar reception.
Mr Rushdie’s move into Substack, a platform better known among tech bloggers and journalists, could be a coup for both sides. Novelist gives the tech start-up some literary height, while Substack gives a modern glow to a writer entering their twilight years, a period when big-name novelists often dramatize with an eye on Stockholm.
“Let’s see how it goes,” he said of his new experiment. “I’m just as curious as anyone else.”