Tuesday, 29 November 2011

A £400,000 advance is

too much for any book. Does the media actually have this correct? Penguin is supposed to be a reputable publishing company (although I will reserve judgment on Book Country). However I think £40,000 would be more than most authors get for even blockbuster "sure to be a best seller and likely to be made into a box office success film" type books. There is something wrong here. Pippa Middleton's sister may have married the then world's most eligible bachelor but that does not mean that Pippa Middleton can write books. Indeed, someone else may well do the actual writing. I wonder what they will get paid?
If the reports are correct then I feel - annoyed - angry - disappointed? I do not know. I do know it is not right. People have always traded on family, personal and "political" connections. They always will. We all do it - but few of us do it in such a blatantly obvious way. Penguin is as much at fault here as Pippa Middleton.
More seriously though, the publishing industry is said to be in serious difficulties. There has been a wave of "reprints", something I am assuming the industry can do cheaply but research suggests will sell. I have no doubt that authors get very little for reprints.
And, new books are harder to sell. It is harder for an author, even an established author, to sell a new book. For first time authors it is, naturally, harder still. Pippa Middleton will not need to worry too much. The publicity machine will kick in overtime for her. So will the media. It will not be because of what she is but who she is. Yes, unfair. That is life. Get used to it.
Imagine though what forty good books for children could have done for the imaginations of the future. There are other books on parties and party planning. I have seen them in our library. There are never enough books for children.


Old Kitty said...

Money definitely attracts money.

When I see/read/know how good talented authors struggle to even get a foot in the publishing door...

Mind you publishing is at its core a business - there to make money and profit the least costliest way for the most returns and not really in existence to primarily foster culture, learning, civilisation, talent. Gosh how depressing. Just my opinion, btw! LOL!

Take care

Melinda Szymanik said...

Months of careful and painstaking crafting of a story to 'maybe' get lucky and be offered a contract with at most $1000 advance, makes this sort of thing very hard to swallow. I've been told that the success of bestsellers helps pay for more risky or debut books, but if 400,000 pounds is paid up front will there be anything left?