aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,
aprilhenry
aprilhenry

Go big or go home?

Author Dani Shapiro looks back at home publishing has changed in the last 20 years in an essay for the LA Times. She writes, “The publishing industry -- always the nerdy distant cousin of the rest of media -- has the same blockbuster-or-bust mentality of television networks and movie studios. There now exist only two possibilities: immediate and large-scale success, or none at all. ... things were different when I started. My first three books sold, in combination, fewer than 15,000 copies in hardcover. My editor at the time told me there were 4,000 serious readers in America, and if I reached them, I was doing a good job. As naïve as this may sound, it never occurred to me that my modest sales record might one day spell the end of my career.”

I got my first contract in 1997, but I’ve only been published in mysteries and thrillers. Even ten years ago, at least in the part of publishing I was in, selling 5K in hardcover would very likely not help you get a new contract.

Read her whole essay here.



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