Economist discovers non-fiction book market

Today I received a note from my publisher telling me that the greatest book ever written has sold a total of 82 copies! Ok a few fewer than you might expect from a new Harry Potter book, but a (small) step towards being a millionaire.

I’m certainly not writing another one without a decent advance….

14 comments on “Economist discovers non-fiction book market

  1. Or Cuomo.

    Keep in mind those dollars have to come from somewhere. So for every Democratic hack they bribe with an advance, dozens of honest, hard working, *popular* authors must have been ripped off by getting less than their due.

    The publishing industry wants to die. We should let it.

  2. Maybe you could write about a special boy who lives in a magical fantasy world where money can be conjured out of thin air, beneficent academics and Ministry men battle the forces of evil, and his mentor is an eccentric elderly chap with a beard.

    Working Title: Ritchie Murphy and the Piss-stained Prince

  3. Never really got to it. I’ve several sets of notes for plots and so on, then in came some good enough freelance work.

  4. Nah, any decent book, even an economics book, needs to have a car chase around Chapter 14 so it can be made into a film.

  5. £74 for the book, which means that it is targeted at the library market. Routledge is one of the imprints that tends to publish small volume high price academic books.

  6. Confirmation bias. We don’t see the vast troves of fiction that doesn’t get published. The Harry Potters are, as any fule kno, very very very rare.

  7. I must confess I didn’t think of putting a car chase in. May be I’ll add one if there is ever a second edition. As to price, that’s in the hands of the publisher and most authors I’ve talked with aren’t happy about publishers’ pricing policies.

  8. The Harry Potters of this world are rare, publishing tends to be a winner takes all market. I hate to think just how much Paul Samuelson, Greg Mankiw or Tim Worstall have made from their books!

  9. Or crowdfund your next book Tim?

    I’d happily rather give you a higher cut to read another book from you

  10. The opportunity cost of writing a book is, for me, in the order of £5 to 10k. That’s what I won’t earn by taking the time to write one properly.

    Non-fiction books very rarely indeed earn that sort of money. And crowd funding won’t either, not with my network.

    Now, any ideas about how to get that higher sum will be gratefully received. But I don’t think it’s there.

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