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Want to know how well books really sell?

(9 Posts)
UnquietDad Sat 08-Sep-07 11:29:38

Just in case anyone's thinking of becoming a novelist.

have a read of this

Of course, this is only hardback, still seen as a jumping-off point for a mass-market paperback and aimed only at reviewers, libraries and literati, but even so... Hundreds of copies, not even thousands. Gives you pause for thought, doesn't it?

BecauseImWorthIt Sat 08-Sep-07 11:32:48

And what I can never understand is the rubbish that does sell! I took Sandra Howard's novel The Glass House (I think that's the title) on holiday, thinking it would be quite an interesting read, what with her insight into government/parliament. And what a pile of shite that turned out to be. So badly written. But presumably she got her contract because of her name/husband?

UnquietDad Sat 08-Sep-07 11:36:14

Books get huge advances for all sorts of reasons, and if they do then they will get a commensurately large publicity budget - they need to shift a good few thousand copies to recoup the advance. A book which has had a small/moderate advance will not be as heavily promoted as the publisher has no interest in recouping anything - if it earns out its meagre advance they're happy, anything more being a bonus.

SixKinds Sat 08-Sep-07 11:48:54

I work on academic books and my current project has a hdbk print run of only 740. Given the amount of work that goes into books like this its astonishing, and it makes the £100ish price tag seem modest!
Do you get published Unquiet?

StarryStarryNight Sat 08-Sep-07 11:52:51

Yes, but isn't there money in supplying books to libraries across the country? Surely a large amount of the income will come from deals with libraries and schools, and even book clubs? This would come in addition to what goes out into the shops?

UnquietDad Sat 08-Sep-07 15:26:50

Yes, I'm published.

SixKinds Sat 08-Sep-07 15:30:20

Fiction? Would I know of you?

UnquietDad Sat 08-Sep-07 15:34:09

Fiction and non-fiction - 8 titles over the course of the last 14 years plus foreign editions.

Would you have heard of me? Depends what you read!

I'm always reminded of the conversation Simon Armitage has with the insurance person in "All Points North" about beign a poet. "Are you famous?" "WEll, have you heard of me?" "er, no." grin

SixKinds Sat 08-Sep-07 15:36:15

Lol. I have decided that you are Mark Haddon. Because I like him and his love of children's ways of talking in 'Spot of Bother'. Don't tell me you aren't. I'm quite happy living a lie.

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