Thursday, November 15, 2007

Booking it

I was recommended the most _amazing_ website recently, it's called The Book Depository.

Books are one of the few things that I'm deeply, truly and helplessly materialistic about, and this website is like a dream come true - a beautiful, nerdy dream!

So what's so special about the Book Depository then? Well, think Amazon, with one important difference: Free postage. Yup, free. Even to Australia.

Let me give you a minute to allow that to sink in.

Most people don't know, but in Australia, we really get stiffed for book prices. Paperbacks, particularly, are considerably cheaper overseas. This wouldn't bother me so much (actually, I lie; it would. Thirty five bucks for a paperback is ridiculous), if the author was seeing any of this money - but they get sweet FA, and royalities have in no way increased with rocketing prices.

So, the Book Depository, without the ball and chain of postage, is a cornucopia of very cheap books indeed, and as my order arrived this week, I can assure you it's pretty fast and exactly what it says it is.

Even better, the Managing Editor has a blog, and it's good one, too. Short but sweet. His latest post is about how impoverished novel writing is. This is another thing that I don't think people are aware of. In Australia for example, a bestseller is considered circa 20 000 copies. Provided your publishers have played their guessing games right, selling 6000 books will result in an invitation to write another.

6000 copies in Australia. With the writer getting somewhere between 60 cents and 2 dollars a copy. So between $3500 and $9000 - pre-tax - per book. And you can take 5-10% of that off for an agent, which you won't get published without. . It's a mug's game, if you're in it for a living, and never think otherwise. Even a national bestseller will get you under $50 000, which is why getting published in the states is such a big deal for Aussie writers.



At 3:51 pm , Blogger Rebecca-the-Wrecker said...

thanks for the tip- so glad you are blogging again

At 1:44 pm , Blogger patrick said...

It's the most awesome website ever!

I'm glad you're glad!

At 11:29 am , Blogger James said...

I don't think there is anywhere near enough common knowledge of the plight of writers, musicians, and filmmakers alike. Australia has some of the best artistic talent in the world, but we don't have the population to pay it what it's worth. As a result we lose our musicians to London and our filmmakers to LA, only the writers seem to be lucky enough to be able to simply send content overseas without having to move... or am I wrong?


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