I read this morning that out of 1.2 million book published in 2007 only 25,000 sold more than 5000 copies.
200,00 sold less than 1000 copies and 950 000 sold fewer than 99 copies.
In the UK the average salary of a writer is £4000.

I just wondered how many crime spacers knew these ststs when they started out and if they would have bothered had they known?
HB x

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I knew it would be tough getting published, but I wrote my first novel because it was something I had always wanted to do. I know the odds, and I feel very lucky just to have gotten published. I know it probably won't be a best-seller, but if the publisher can make money on it, it increases dramatically my chances of getting a second book accepted.
I heard recently that thriller writers make more money than mystery writers. I wonder if "mystery thrillers" would then make more money??? Simon has a great attitude: just do your best work. However, I'd sure like to have more time to write and draw and spend less time buying TV parts at my day job.
I think the Harry Potter novels go against the supposed non-reading generation theory. I found, when selling T-shirts, it's just unpredictable what'll sell. I almost didn't print one T-shirt because the artwork wasn't up to my highest standards, but I wanted to put out another design to round out the product line. Ended up being one of my biggest sellers. I sold one T-shirt because someone wanted a shirt with a goat in it and it had a goat playing an instrument in the background on the design: It wasn't quality that sold it. I've read some fantastic novels that didn't hit the bestsellers list. I've given up trying to figure it out and just be happy that someone is still publishing books that I can enjoy.
Hi, Clair. Why do you think they don't advertize novels on TV if you think they'd sell big?
They do, in a very few cases, and then the ad is very short. Television time is very expensive.
And even then, it's always books that don;t really need the advertising.

Last week at a conference in Toronto Giles Blunt pointed out that publishers work exactly the same way as oil companies - they dig a bunch of wells and when one hits they pour all their resources into that one.

There have been plenty of rumours over the years about books (and records) bought in large numbers to get onto bestseller lists and music charts so that then the companies will get behind them and sell even more.
Ah, to have enough friends and relatives to make that first week of the book's release a smash hit ;-)

I recall reading about bands in the UK running around London with all their mates, etc., buying hundreds of copies of their new single at different stores to try and turn it into a No. 1.
I think perhaps the comparison would work better if we assumed that the company spends a good deal more money on better equipment and is prepared to drill much deeper in some places than in others. Even then they don't always hit oil.
I'm pretty sure that's the case, Ingrid. The oil companies rate areas of possible development - some places, like the tar sands in Canada, were too expensive to get the oil out of until the price of oil went up so much. Now the companies are prepared to "drill much deeper," as it were.

I guess the print run would be the equivalent in publishing.
The print run is a gamble. It announces to book stores that the publisher is putting a lot of money behind a book. Editors take great care when they put together sales catalogs. Authors tend to be puzzled when asked to prepare or edit blurbs for something they and the general public don't get to see. I have yet to see one of mine from Penguin, but I saw those for St. Martin's Press. They listed large print runs and dollar amounts to be spent in advertising, the type of advertising, and any other promotional tools the publisher invests in for a few titles in the front of the catalog. The purpose is to get bookstores to place huge orders.
The downside is that bookstores have limited shelf space. To make room for heavily promoted titles, others have to be removed or are not ordered in the first place. (As you may guess, I'm pretty bitter about this discriminatory method of promotion which handicaps some authors in order to push others.)
We all need money. That much is obvious. It might not be discussed openly in many quaters and in many situations, but we all need it to survive. That said, I'd continue writing, even if all prospects of attaining wealth through writing were eliminated. I can't imagine a life without writing. Even when I went on sabbatical from the craft, the longing never really deserted me - just hibernated like a benevolent spirit within me. If you are wondering whether you would continue writing if providence were to suddenly favor you with one hundred million dollars, ask yourself these questions:

Could you really live without writing again? Could you place your creative juices permanently in cold storage?

I think you would probably answer "no."
I just use; Elmore Leonard, John Sandford, Jordan Dane,etc as the author. It works for me...

The only tuff one I had was selling was the latest from A. Conan Doyle, Sherlock was driving a vintage Bentley and doing crack. Ya just can't win 'em all.


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