> I hope you don't mind me asking, and feel free not to
> respond but do you have a particular blockbuster in
> your stable that subsidises some of the slower sellers?
> I'm thinking of The Colorado Kid but I might be way
> off. I remember a writer of very literary, navel-gazing
> (albeit amusing) books saying once at a reading how
> he is indebted to Stephen king for giving his publishers
> enough money to waste on his first two books. (He had
> to find another publisher after they tanked.)
Absolutely -- THE COLORADO KID singlehandedly sold roughly as many
copies as all our other titles put together, and that did help subsidize
our slower sellers for a while. But given that the book came out in
2005, the effect is pretty much over by now. If we could publish a book
that successful once every few years, it could keep the line afloat
That was one of the points I was trying to make when I wrote "having a
lot of titles that sell 4,000 copies and none that sell 40,000
(forget about 400,000 or 4 million) is a good way to go out of business"
-- if you do have the occasional title that sells 40,000 or 400,000 or 4 million, it can pay for a lot of titles that sell 4,000. This is why it's necessary for publishers to chase blockbusters, at least some fraction of the time.
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