Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Noir then, Noir now

Date: 25 Jun 2009

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    I agree Al. It's another example of the movement from an economy based upon mass production to one based upon the segmenting of markets resulting from the rapid release of more and more information in more and more media.

    Technology, in the form of print-on-demand, e-books and other media, reduce production and distribution costs, and some promotional costs too, but the time it takes to write a book, though marginally improved by the computer, is still largely a function of other, more human and idiosyncratic qualities. Nobody as yet, I think, has found a way to round up those hundreds of thousands of digital monkeys to produce more Shakespeare.

    Best, Kerry

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Allan Guthrie
      Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 7:12 AM
      Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Noir then, Noir now

      It's long been an industry truism that 85% of the profit comes from 15% of
      the books. You make your profit from the blockbusters. Without 'big books'
      you go bust. Books that sell moderately don't tend to make money and
      publishing is (usually) a business. It used to be the case that moderate
      sales were okay, since moderate sales of an original title might be around
      10,000 copies. But very few books sell 10,000 copies now. 'Moderate' is more
      like 2000-3000 copies. So many publishers are reaching for blockbuster
      qualities just to create previously moderate sales...

      Just my interpretation, of course.


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "jacquesdebierue" <>

    > Some of the trouble with the industry is that they're looking to have
    > blockbusters as opposed to selling a lot of different stuff in moderate
    > quantities. You can make a profit that way, just like you can make a
    > profit by spending five million (not two hundred) on a movie and making
    > 15%. It's three quarters of a million. But the idea of the blockbuster is
    > everywhere.
    > Best,
    > mrt


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