Thursday, November 22, 2007

Pressure to Sell

Miss Snark wrote an interesting post about the pressure on authors to sell more of each subsequent book that is released. I recommend you read all of the post, but to quote the best of it:

Publishers demand that writers sell increasing quantities of subsequent books they publish. Book one can sell five thousand copies, book two six thousand but by book five you've got to sell forty thousand. If you don't, the publisher doesn't renew the contract. .... Why do this you ask? ....The reason is that if you've got ten authors selling 40,000 books each year, you've got a full list and no way for someone new to break in. ...It's harder [for them] to publish the novelist they're all looking for: the breakout book that is going to sell a zillion copies.

....Add up all the cost for printing, editorial time, design time, and a percentage of the fixed cost like heats light and water and voila and voila: what it costs to make a book happen. That cost is almost same if you sell 3000 books or 30000 books. ....The REVENUE is significantly higher for 30,000 books than for 3,000 so publishers with the roughly the same costs would really rather sell more than less.'ll see a lot more smaller publishers picking up big names and happily publishing 40,000 copies till the cows come home.

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