RARA-AVIS: Re: The State of Publishing

From: Charlie Williams (cs_will@hotmail.com)
Date: 02 Jul 2009

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    Dammit, I smelled a ruse but you STILL suckered me. First Pick-up, now this!


    ------------------- charliewilliams.net

    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "Allan Guthrie" <allan@...> wrote:
    > Came across a newspaper article today, entitled TOO MANY BOOKS, that ties in
    > with some of the topics we've been discussing here recently. I'll quote from
    > it:
    > "Many English publishers and booksellers take the view that the constantly
    > increasing production of books will bring about a crisis in the trade, which
    > will result in the bankrupcy of a number of firms, and a reduction of output
    > on the part of those publishing firms which survive the crisis."
    > The article then goes on to say:
    > "The English [UK] edition of a bestseller may reach a sale of 100,000
    > copies. Such a total is rare, though it is often exceeded in the United
    > States, where the reading public and the population are much larger than in
    > Great Britain, but sales of 50,000 are by no means uncommon in Great
    > Britain, and even sales of 10,000 will return the publisher and author very
    > satisfactory profits. Most books, and novels in particular, do not reach a
    > sale of 2,000, and many of them are below 1,000."
    > There's a quote from Faber and Faber that reads thus:
    > "Publishers survive by their education and specialised books, by their
    > possession of valuable backlists built up in healthier times, or by reprints
    > of established classics, or by the sale of cheap reprinted fiction to
    > holiday makers. Without the best-seller, it is safe to say that the
    > publisher in these days cannot possibly survive, if the main part of his
    > business is the supply of new general literature."
    > The full article is scanned here.
    > http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=HDkTAAAAIBAJ&sjid=K5cDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6588,1695497&dq=publishing+best-seller
    > Oh, yeah, it's from The Age, an Australian national, from January 1938.
    > Al

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