RARA-AVIS: Re: state of NY publishing

From: davezeltserman (Dave.Zeltserman@gmail.com)
Date: 15 Nov 2009

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    Two conflicting pieces of information:

    1) on Thursday, the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 sold 4.7 million copies for $310 million dollars in sales.

    2) DaVinci Code sells 80 million copies world-wide

    Maybe it's what Kevin has been saying about society needing to share pop culture--whether it's books, video games, movie; where readers will move in like locusts to whatever falls under that "shared pop culture".

    A couple of recent items given me even less hope in the direction large NY houses are moving (yes, I know, I'm the Eeyore of publishing). The one I can mention, I was trading emails with an editor at one of these large corporate houses I'm friendly with about Serpent's Tail buying a book I recommended to them, and he commented how he had gotten the book and thought it was one of the best crime novels he'd seen in a while, but had to pass on it because it was decided that the book wouldn't be big enough for them (meaning, not a star or celebrity author, or too good to appeal to the masses).

    From what I'm observing, the smaller independent houses will pick up where the large NY houses are failing, and will continue to be publishing the best crime fiction available over the next few years. As more serious crime fiction readers gravitate towards these independents, these large NY houses will either have to adapt and start taking chances on some of these more riskier but exciting books, or be little more than publishing only star writers and celebrities and see their readership continue to drop.


    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "Allan Guthrie" <allan@...> wrote:
    > That's a conclusion but it's not the only one. It's possible that there are
    > the same number of readers, but because of the number of books now
    > available, there are fewer sales of individual titles. I think it's a bit of
    > both.
    > Al
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: "jacquesdebierue" <jacquesdebierue@...>
    > > --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "Allan Guthrie" <allan@> wrote:
    > >>
    > >> That's true, but it also applies to traditional publishing. You might be
    > >> surprised how many titles from big NY publishers sell in the low
    > >> hundreds.
    > >>
    > >
    > > This, to my mind, points to a substantial reduction in the number of real
    > > readers (not people who can theoretically read, but people who read
    > > regularly). The Spanish publishing industry, which is huge, is grappling
    > > with this phenomenon. Selling five thousand copies is considered a huge
    > > success these days, according to what I hear. That is, for a reading
    > > market of 400 million people! Most authors, of course, have a serious day
    > > job, either as journalists or in other jobs.
    > >
    > > So it's not particularly a US phenomenon, it's worldwide.
    > >
    > > Best,
    > >
    > > mrt

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