Monday, May 08, 2006

Oh spit!!!

Nuff waxing poetical for a minute, I' m starting to get a headache but now I'm just about to have a migraine.
Yes, right, an article in Myslexia (magazine for women what write) had me champing at the bit! Entitled 'Don't give up the day job', it outlines the false notion being touted by writing courses that being a paid novelist is a possibilty when in fact it is pie-in-the-sky for most of us. Well I know that, I have a permanent lump on my head from all the times that I bash it against the wall!
Danuta Kean says "The stark truth for most writers is that their income is being seriously eroded by the harsh realities of book retailing in the 21st century".
She goes on to say that whilst the high rollers are commanding six figure sums the average author can expect £12,000 on a two book deal! And if you take your average £6.99 paperback £4.00 goes to the retailer and the publisher divvies up the rest with the author getting, on average, 52p per copy. Isn't there something a little amiss here, isn't it time someone started screaming rape and pillage!
What is happening? We have become a society of Tesco bestsellers, fed standard genres along with the potatoes and no doubt we will shortly be sold down the river in a blue stripe (cheap and cheerful) cover.

Look at these, spit spit:

Charlotte Church - £1m for lifestory (lifestory - she's twenty!)
Katie Price - £1m for series of novels (about her frontage no doubt)
Wayne Rooney - zillions for four books (he has that much to say about a diddy little ball?)

I'm not arguing advances, I along with the rest of the writing fraternity would bite off the hand that offered a quarter of that, but where will these books end up? Lining the the supermarket shelves where nearly everyone behind the book is losing and we'll probably have to forego our clubcard points before long as well!!!


skint writer said...

And I bet that only a very small percentage of those "books" from the supermarkets actually ever get opened let alone read.

Most of them end up in Oxfam in pristine condition with hardly a burger-fat thumbprint on the cover.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit that I do buy books from Tesco (and Morrisons) because I'm there and they're there. It's easy. But at the same time I agree with what you're saying. As for Katie Price getting a million for a series of novels, what can I say? The woman's got a recording contract lined up (can she sing?) and now a writing contract? When did somebody who needed to blow up her tits to make a living suddenly become multi-talented?

Unknown said...

Oh don't get me wrong, I buy books from anywhere, but why are the retailers entitled to such a large share? Perhaps they were all former estate agents or solicitors, who also take money for services you don't get!!

Marie said...

I read the article in Mslexia and I was depressed for days. Of course I know that novelists don't really make that much money (unless you're JK Rowling) but considering the hard work we novelists put in I think something should be done about it. Why should we have to put up with it?
I am sick of all these useless celebs getting a six figure sum for something they won't even write while I slog my guts out writing stuff no one wants.