Creative truths

Or ‘It’s the absolute truth, we swear… we just left out a few details, context etc.’ Anyone who ever dealt with publishing is probably well aware that sometimes the author can mislead, but he’s a piker compared to the average industry insider. The big five/four/three etc… have been in court telling everyone how little they sell and how little they know. I believe every word, of course. I think closer examination may tell you that this is trade (a format) hardback – but who knows. This has some other interesting snippets about the formal side of the Publishing business. Once again, caveat emptor. I know nothing about the source. It did get me wondering about Tick tock marketing. My thought was ‘repent, Harlequin’.

Seriously a few interesting points: I’ve said reading is a habit – it picked up during the lockdowns etc… and is still keeping ground. One wonders how it will do during the recession? My own feeling is rather well, if it is cheap, encouraging and escapist.

On the writing front: Learn from the editors – the ones testifying in court. The partially told truth is a great deal more effective than the outright lie in your writing, because we tend to recognize the true bit, as, well, truth. So: my bad-hat in the WIP, is very good at telling the truth (as well as a few utter porkies) – but leaving some details out. “He told he got sea-sick” [once. In a roaring gale, when everyone else was spewing] leading everyone (bar the reader, who was privy to the entire conversation – but, although it is mentioned thrice – it is very much part of other deliberately distracting conversations and speech tags) thinking so-and-so was a poor sailor.

After all, I assume the editors learned it from those authors they pay $100 000 advances to…

9 comments

  1. After all, I assume the editors learned it from those authors they pay $100 000 advances to…

    So those advances aren’t really bribes, they are tuition payments for learning a skill? 😉

  2. I can believe the “sell less than a dozen,” guesstimate (because BookScan et al are not entirely reliable, as a lot of people already know.) I’m looking at what has been languishing on the shelf at the regional B&N, and it is either ultra-woke, ultra-literary (which isn’t really a large market here), or costs an arm, a leg, and all your future earnings. However, the first two give the publisher cachet and allow them to point to how they are “nurturing and encouraging writers from previously underserved communities” and so on. And it makes a nice tax write-off as a loss, too.

    In a slow month, I sell, oh, 25-50 books if I count rentals as well as purchases. Now, I have a HUGE backlist, so I’m not typical.

      1. The latter figure sounds more logical. On the other paw, this IS tradpub, so “a dozen or fewer” could also be possible.

        I’d love to sell 5K/year. That’s roughly $12,500 US of income, based on my current pricing.

  3. I find that I strongly favor injuries in this matter.

    Okay, tradpub seems to be wicked and incompetent, and to have earned a drubbing. Not that this case will likely result in such.

    The case made by the Feds is apparently motivated by ‘legal research’ on the impacts of their previous lawsuit policy.

    I suspect, generally, that law faculty are full of crud, and making serious mistakes. Even if said mistakes are perhaps subtle and hard to notice.

    Thus I figure that the federal lawyers may be ‘bad’ people, and deserve to have this backfire badly on them. Likewise, this seems to be a case where the federal lawyers and the law faculty are will be denied the justice that they deserve.

  4. Yes. When dealing with enemies or posting on the internets (but I repeat myself) telling the truth, but not the whole truth, or telling an Banbury tale with the qualification that parts are rubbish, is the modus vivendi.

    The important thing is not to pull a Peterson and ever allow oneself to call it honesty, or the act virtuous.

    And of course, not so se anyone with reason to trust you.

    I struggle with this one.

  5. Oooh! Trade Hardback (rather than, like, Library Hardback or a textbook) would make that make sense!

    Was playing with the numbers and… I just couldn’t find any way that would work at all, not for a category that includes kids’ books.

    I was thinking maybe “books sold in year they are printed,” that means they don’t count ANYTHING printed in November or December because it doesn’t hit bookstores until next year so it’s selling but not being printed?

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