Dare to Dream

by - 2/27/2006

In a couple of my blog entries I bemoaned the fact that Publishers (big or small) don't bother to spend any great amount of website space, time, money or effort to promote new and upcoming authors, some of whom may very well go on to be the Dan Brown's or Nora Roberts' of the future. Instead they prefer to spend money publicizing these already moneymaking authors - an exercise in utter futility or so it seems to me. [Kindly note, I'm not disparaging these authors. I'm a huge fan and their books are on my automatic-buy list - which is kind of the point I'm trying to make.]

In response to my blog entry, an upcoming author revealed some interesting and generally little known facts of publishing.

1) It's all about numbers. An author gets paid only for the books sold new and not used.
--- Bummer! I go to USBs all the time. I've discovered many a new author that way and become their fan. Hopefully, I've partly redeemed myself by buying said newly found author's new books at full-price even though paying 20+ dollars for a single hardback firsthand does make me wince and my wallet shed tears of green!

2) Writers are paid advance royalties against future sales.
--- Which means they get paid a fixed amount in advance at some agreed-upon rate. This is dependent on their book selling "x" number of copies. If the book sells more than "x" copies, well and good - the writer gets some more money. If not - well, there goes the royalty for the next book!

3) Copies returned mean less money for the author.
--- In addition to taking the lion's share of profit from a book's sales, publishers may also "hold" a writer's royalty against returned copies.

And now the final fact which the author says (and I agree) is also the most absurd Catch-22 of publishing -

4) An author's book may sell millions of copies if the publishers properly promoted them, but the publishers won't promote an author unless they sell millions.
--- Like the chicken and the egg. Need I need say more?

I found some more information on this issue at another writer Brenda Hiatt's website at this link - http://www.brendahiatt.com/id2.html

In conclusion, I feel like standing up and applauding the "Writers" - a bunch of imaginative and hard-working people who actually *dare* to do what readers generally only *dream* that they can do! And after reading these facts of publishing, I feel that writers who depend solely on their writing to pay the bills and put food on the table, deserve the Nobel prize for Hope and Optimism; barring that, directions to Bedlam.

~~~ Afterthought ~~~
No wonder I keep looking for more books by some new author I've discovered in an USB (Used Book Store), only to find no more books by that author are being published. Or perhaps that author is writing under a different pseudonym?! Hmm.... that's subject for blog another day.

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