“I mean, if I publish a book, I make more money,” he said.
He still plans to keep his big change to traditional attire and is working on a novel that will be published by Random House.
Daily business summary
Substack has cash to burn. It raised nearly $83 million at a $650 million valuation, and it recently acquired Cocoon, a social media app that’s driven by subscriptions and doesn’t include any ads. .
Mr. Rushdie has always been a maximalist, in writing and in life. His novels are a highly stylized blend of magical realism and hyper-theatrical storytelling, stories within stories told to my many storytellers. He has had an adventurous personal life and has been married several times. In many ways, Substack seemed like a natural site for Mr. Rushdie. His catholicity of tastes and preferences benefits the often-expanding (sometimes shapeless) letters that make up Substack’s thousands of newsletters.
However, Mr. Rushdie believes that writing has stalled when it comes to the web.
“I feel that, with this new world of information technology, literature has yet to find a truly original space in it,” he said.
He added that he likes Substack’s experimental potential. “Just anything that pops into my head, it just shows me how to say something right away, without the need for a middleman or a janitor,” Mr. Rushdie said.
He gave a taste of what could happen in an anthology of essays published this year, “The Languages of Truth,” a popular piece that tackles everything from Shakespeare to death. of Osama bin Laden. Critics have praised the book, with one calling it “the confused vision of this century.” His most recent novel, “Quichotte,” a postmodern retelling of “Don Quixote,” received a similar reception.
Mr. Rushdie’s move to Substack, a platform better known to tech journalists and bloggers, could be a coup for both sides. Novelists give tech startups some literary talent, while Substack lets an author enter the twilight years, a period when big-name novelists often keep an eye on Stockholm while pretending to be are not.
“Let’s see how it goes,” he said of his new experiment. “I’m just as curious as anyone else.”