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It’s the editing morning from hell…

If you’re subscribed to Booksquare, you can ignore most of this post.

But I want to point out to Eric these two things:

  • Also in relation to that plagiarism case I mentioned last night, Unintentional Borrowing.  I’m rather befuddled by “book packaging companies.”  It leaves me slightly confused, or maybe just wrong-notioned.  I keep thinking I have to have a novel in an impeccable state before I even send it to an agent or publisher.  But then I hear about heavy editing being done by editors, and companies that work already-bought novels into some shape that they previously didn’t hold.  Makes me think that all I have to have, really, is a marketable idea.  Writing be damned.

Lastly, these guys are my new heroes.  I love books.  Not just reading books, but books themselves.  Their look, their smell, their weight.  When life is just a little too much for me, I go to a library.  I spent a lot of time in college at the library.  Bookstores aren’t the same.  If I find something I want in a bookstore I have to pay for it, and the ever-so-slight money anxiety takes some of the serenity out of the sheer number of books that surround me.  Thinking about Irwin Herman and his warehouse of books that he’s giving away, just makes me excited and happy.  Oh, maybe they’re a tad idealistic about the good books can do, but I want to believe they’re not.  If I had to subscribe to a probably irrational belief, mine would be that the lives of everyone could be better with a few more books.


Writer, publisher. Hobbies include reading, studying magic & illusions from a historical/theoretical perspective, and playing ultimate frisbee.

2 thoughts on “

  1. Well Duh!

    There is nothing earth shattering or even anything that I already didn’t know conceptually in that post. It was nice to see the overhead expenses itemized, but other than that, nothing new to me. There are a number of things you need to keep in mind when reading that post. This is a failure scenario for a romance mass market book that relies on Wal-Mart to make sales and didn’t have the blurbs necessary to get on to their shelves in any significant way. Further, it had almost 50% of expenses as overhead, not a good thing when you only sell 33% of the books that were printed.

    What she didn’t tell you:

    If the book had sold 15,105(59%) copies, the company would break even.

    If the author managed to earn their advance, which would require selling 22322 copies, the company would have made $23171 on the book.

    There is nothing secret going on here. It is just the basic principles of economics. Cost is a combination of overhead and unit cost. As volume goes up, unit cost goes down and overhead per unit goes down. And predicting demand and pricing accordingly is a royal pain.

    I really don’t understand why this is causing consternation for you and others that read her journal. It seems that you are seeing the bad case and not seeing the concepts behind it. Even with the screw-up on the art, this book had ample opportunity to become successful enough to make the company reasonably happy. Due to the structuring of the royalties and advance, there isn’t much room for the author to make more than her advance without having a second print run.

    1. Re: Well Duh!

      I’m a pessimist, remember? Of course I only see the bad case. I do see the concepts behind it, and they only reinforce my belief that there’s not much hope for a high-concept, science fiction, murder mystery. But your cool logic makes me feel better. 😉

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