Is the economy affecting your books positively or negatively?

I'm just curious here. Conceivably, the economy could/should be hurting book sales and cancel signings, etc. But it might also be that as people cut back on vacations and larger purchases, books become an affordable form of escapism.

What have you noticed? Is it up, down, or neutral for you and your titles? How do you tell?

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Haven't noticed a difference; the two-cent used copies on amazon seem to be selling as briskly as ever.
I'm hoping all this economic news will make my stockbroker more interesting to readers, but so far it ain't working. Maybe the news has backfired -- now everybody hates brokers even more. Oh, well. :-)
For me personally, it's been awful. I had my first two books picked up for publication in the USA by Harcourt but before they came out the company merged with Houghton Miflin (well, really, both companies were taken over by a venture capitalist company and an educational software company after the textbook divisions), my editor was laid off and my books just dumped. They may have made it into a few stores, but the sales were awful and there was really no promotion at all. One book got quite good reviews and I was hoping to sell a few copies in paperback but now it looks like there never will be a paperback version of that book.

So, it's hard for me to say that my sales were down as they'd never been up.

I've managed to sell my next two books to another US publisher and the first one will be released in early 2010, but as for sales, who knows? Expectations are very low (as are advances), I can tell you that.

Of course, it's hard for me to be too down about all this because I really love to write and I've managed to beat the odds and get published (twice). I can say that the bad economy is quite good for the kind of organized crime I write about, so there's certainly no shortage of material for me.
Things aren't good. And they may be worse than even I suspect.
I don't have enough data about novels. With anthologies, I had one come out in 2007 and another in 2008. The print run on the first was right much larger, and initial sales were higher, but they seem to have caught up. So the smaller print run is good--it gives us a higher sell-through. We didn't sell as many sub rights for the 2008 book as the 2007 one, which may be indicative of something.

It's hard to say, isn't it? I'm just glad my next couple of books will be PBO, because I think they'll be easier sells.

At the Berkley Prime Crime party at Bouchercon, Natalee Rosenstein said they traditionally do just fine through tough times, because books tend to be cheaper entertainment than a movie or dinner out.


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