Fascinating numbers

Philip Stone, charts editor of The Bookseller, rejects much of this kind of criticism as coming from snobs “disgusted by the reality of the world we live in”. He recently pointed out that sales of Martin Amis’s books totalled £200,000 last year, compared with the £1.7 million generated by Alan Titchmarsh. “So, shock, horror, publishers have a willingness to publish popular books. Yes, by those boo-hoo, horrid little celebs. I know, outrageous!” he wrote.

So, on the usual authorial 10% (it obviously varies, but that\’s a decent rough guide) Amis made £20,000 last year from his books?

No wonder he\’s pissed……there are innumerable Mills and Boon and porno writers making more than that.

5 comments on “Fascinating numbers

  1. Hmm. I suspect our Mart is making rather more than that, as he’ll be on the same kind of crazy-advance, crazy-royalties superstar deals as the slebs he’s slating.

    (Stone’s a prat, though. Sleb books are shit and people who read them are ignorant proles; the fact that they make money hardly affects Amis’s point, any more than the fact that crack-dealers make money gives moral worth to their work…)

  2. I am not a prat. I just think that the lampooning-celebs passtime is a tired and dull one. And I think there’s a significant difference between public consumption of “shit” books by “slebs” and public consumption of crack cocaine. But maybe I’m just an old fuddy-duddy.

  3. False equivalence: the point isn’t that reading Jordan’s book is the same as smoking crack, it’s that citing Jordan’s book’s popularity in an attempt to show it has merit is no more relevant that citing crack’s popularity in an attempt to show it has merit.

  4. ‘And I think there’s a significant difference between public consumption of “shit” books by “slebs” and public consumption of crack cocaine.’

    What’s the difference except that some people don’t like one or the other?

    “Opium and morphine are certainly dangerous and habit forming drugs. But once a principle is admitted that it is the duty of government to protect the individual against his own foolishness, no serious objections can be advanced against further encroachments. A good case could be made out in favor of the prohibition of alcohol and nicotine. And why limit the government’s benevolent providence to the protection of the individual’s body only? Is not the harm a man can inflict on his mind and soul even more disastrous than bodily evils? Why not prevent him from reading bad books and seeing bad plays, from looking at bad paintings and statues and from hearing bad music?” – Ludvig Von Mises

  5. The publishers are selling out. Writers have to learn their craft and come up the hard way, no easy breaks for them. For the celeb though, it’s all about sticking their name on the cover. And if you think that they write half this stuff, you’re sadly mistaken. A lot of the writing of sleb (shit celeb) books is done by editors and inhouse staff, yet it’s still all crap. Katie Price is a perfect example. All of her books were written by Rebecca Farnsworth. Well, you didn’t really think Jordon wrote them did you? The poor girl is as thick as two shits in a bucket. And if you read a Titchmarsh book and though it was well written then you’re either mentally-ill or semi-literate.

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