Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The 6000...

The Guardian has a lengthy article on first time novelists and includes some interesting statistics at the end:
· Around 70,000 titles are published a year in Britain, of which 6,000 are novels

· Any large UK publisher will receive 2,000 unsolicited novel manuscripts in a year

· The average sale of a hardback book by a first-time writer is 400 copies

· Many publishers use this rule of thumb to work out advances: they pay 50 per cent of the royalty earnings expected from the first print run

· According to the latest edition of Private Eye, first novel The Thirteenth Tale by ex-teacher Diane Setterfield (author's advance £800,000) has sold 13,487 copies to date. Only 516,129 to go and the book's paid for itself...
One of the debut novelists mentioned is Ivo Stourton whose first (crime) novel is set in Cambridge and will be out in June. Read the whole article here.

1 comment:

Maxine said...

One point about these massive advances is that the publisher recoups them in other ways, eg by syndicating chapters of the book in the newspapers, etc.

Also, the "400" figure is more evidence for the growing certainty in my mind that "mainstream" publishers could do far better economically by a sponsored POD type of publishing (for the majority of their titles), along the lines of the Random House model. Seems to me that they would do better financially out of this than they would by the "remainder" system.

There are some intersting points about POD from the author's perspective being made currently over at Librarian's place, in the post titled along the lines of Mary Scriver and Lulu.com.