Golly, since I am retired with a PERS pension, I can say 1000 readers. Of course, I am a reader not a "real "writer . I enjoy reading what others have written and usually comment on newspaper opinion articles in local newspapers.
Isn't the Net a grand tool? Of course, we meet the baddies out there. Fie on them!
Literary agent and former publisher, Larry Kirshbaum, featured on the cover of PW as Publishing's Person of the year, had the following to say regarding the industry.
Q: If there was one thing you could change about our business, what would it be?
A: I'd like to see less titles published by the large publishers. The smaller publishers have financial and capacity restraints which tend to keep their lists within the realm of what they can successfully market. The larger publishers, having greater resources (and also larger infrastructures) seem to believe that the larger their lists, the more chances they'll have for scoring big successes. Unfortunately, even when you have multiple imprints, size no longer works in their favor. (Large publishers tend to have smaller editorial and marketing entities but their sales functions are often centralized.) With our retailers being much more cautious (and not just during the present crisis), too often we see titles that get little display and virtually no promotion dollars. And of course the avalanche of titles is producing huge piles of returns from unsold copies. I would like to see publishers doing more marginal titles electronically -- with creative Internet promotion -- as their test market, then go to print if there's a sufficient response. This is not just a matter of ecology (e.g. avoiding waste), it's promoting the idea that every book that is published physically will get significant attention by the publisher, the retailer and hopefully the consumer. In the long run, authors who do get published will be better served by more attention to the details of marketing their books.
I think a lot of people (including writers) have said that there are too many books thrown on the market without any promotion or marketing. And let's not forget that bookstore display also costs money that is paid as part of the publisher's marketing budget.
I still remember going to B&N when my first book came out (hardcover from St. Martin's Press) and getting furiously angry at the store because the book wasn't even placed on the New Releases table.
I said nothing (stopped shopping there!), and it wasn't until many years later that I learned that St. Martin's was supposed to pay for that privilege and hadn't. They also didn't help me get a signing there or anywhere else. A new author cannot assume that his/her books will actuially be on sale in any bookstores. Frequently, bookstores return copies double quick if there is no immediate demand for them. It's for that reason that amazon rankings become totally meaningless. Sometimes Amazon is the only place where the book can be bought.
As for electronic publication: it's still not a good market, and I suspect that the folks who buy electronic books are a different group of people from those who visit bookstores.
I grew up in a family eclectic in philosophy--a bluecollar father who was a railroad engineer and a mother who formed her own corporation. Both parents' beliefs were an outgrowth of the 1929 crash. My father's mantra was "You don't get anything for nothing!" often expressed as "There is no free lunch." My mother was global in her outlook; my father, more domestic in his. Neither parent went beyond high school but both stressed a good education, which my mother impressed upon me with her comment,"Get your education--it is the one thing that can never be taken from you."
As Dad always told me, "You get what you pay for." He believed in paying well for services rendered and was a great tipper in restaurants. Had he held the financial reins in the family, however, we would have gone bankrupt; My mother was the money handler since Dad was no dummy.
So with my family background, I save where I can and pay big bucks when I wish.
In my personal library I have books that have cost me nothing, ten-cent books, and books that have cost me much more. I agree that it is unfortunate that marketing sells more books than quality, but excellent writing is still key in my book (pun intended)-k
This was the first thread I spotted when I conducted my initial flyover, and was instrumental in getting me to sign up for this site. I would not sell out for $1000. Not because that violates my principles or anything like that, oh no. The money is just not substantial enough. I have frankly already been offered more than that for my soul, and I turned it down. Again the offer from the devil was nothing short of insulting. Now if you ramp it up to, say, $100,000, you just watch my principles fly out the window. $1000 I can afford. I have that. $100,000 just tell me how you want me to package my soul and you will get it special delivery.
Any reader willing to drop $1000 on one book is a true fan, so I'd gladly accept the $1000 and treat that solitary fan to a $1000 evening out at the coolest restaurants, bars, bookstores, theaters that Boston has to offer, while hopefully engaging them in life-altering conversation and hashing out cool ideas for future books. The evening would be so fantastic that word of mouth about their experience would surely gain me another 1000 readers, probably within the same tax bracket as my first fan, all now willing to pay even more than $1000 for a book and a killer night with the writer. I estimate this formula would make me a millionaire in a matter of months.
Or maybe I'd just take the $1000 and pay off my credit card.