Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tongue in Cheek Truth

I came across a cute, yet sadly truthful, article about publishing. You can go over and read it in full. The article is an excerpt from a speech by author Gene Weingarten. Here are a few snippets:
 Blurbs are short bites of additional complimentary material written about the author by people more famous than the author.

I get blurbed by Dave Barry. Dave Barry gets blurbed by Stephen King. Stephen King gets blurbed by His Holiness the Pope.

Until recently, authors didn’t know just how grim the sales picture was, because the only sales information we got was from the publisher in the form of “royalty statements,” which are incomprehensible sheaves of figures ….

Thus it was that just yesterday I clicked into the Simon & Schuster special “author’s portal” and was able to calculate, with mathematical precision, that if my 2004 book, I’m With Stupid, continues to sell at its current rate, I will begin to make money on it sometime during the second week of June 2093.
The article is funny. And sad. Click over and read it. Or not. Depends on whether you get depressed easily.

13 comments:

  1. I read this in the paper a couple of days ago. Funny and sad, yes. I don't think it's anything surprising though, especially given the current climate.

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  2. I'm going over to read the full article. Thanks for enlightening me. I always thought the blurb was the description written by the author and the comments by other authors was an endorsement (at least that's what Castle says!)
    Ann

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  3. Hi Helen .. sad isn't it - or to look at it another way .. be your own best friend and promote your own book .. no point in wasting energy ..

    Cheers Hilary

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  4. Yes it's funny...and tongue in cheek truthful which is why we should all wake up every morning and chant: "I'm not in it for the money" ten times fast.

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  5. That is sad and I am so with Liza - if I were in it for the money, I'd have to go shoot myself.
    Karen

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  6. So true, y'all. It would be nice to be getting huge amounts of money, but I'd better not hold my breath.

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  7. My first trip around the block with iUniverse was a disaster because they were the only ones making any money. Now that I can pretty much do everything my self with the exception of paying for an editor, I just cut out most costs asscoiated with making a book. Except for time, of course.

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  8. iUniverse used to have a bad rep, Stephen. I wonder if they've gotten better. On the other hand, it seems to be getting easier for authors to do their own publishing.

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  9. Sad but I bet that's how it works out for a lot of authors.

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  10. Wow - sad but reality, huh? I'm fortunate that I have a "real" job, and my husband has a "real, real" job with a 401k. Being a writer isn't a cakewalk - the writing's the easy part. It's everything else that's really tough. Thanks for the post and link.

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  11. I'm not convinced that readers buy books with great blurbs. I was thrilled when Carolyn Hart blurbed my book, Murder on the Interstate, convinced that it would increase sales. It didn't. Now that the book is on the Kindle Select program with a new book cover, it's selling like proverbial hotcakes. You just never know what's going to spark a reader's interest.

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  12. I know that when I go into a bookstore, Jean, the first thing I look at is the cover (which is probably true for ebooks), then I check out the back cover blurb (which isn't on an ebook, but can be read on the site where you're buying the book), then I might read a random page. So, to my way of thinking, things haven't changed all that much, except that I hear about more books now that I visit blogs and belong to online groups.

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  13. This is one of the reasons I don't even attempt to write a book. You can't make a living at it. Writing articles is a whole other ball game, especially if you can get past the first 5 articles to the same magazine or newspaper.

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