November 11, 2008

bad time for booksellers

I've been trying over the past two years, to severely limit my book-buying habits. And by severely limit, I really mean just thinking twice about what I buy. I'm still buying lots of books.

But, as retailers everywhere are feeling the pain of the "recession", booksellers are worried about the effect of tighter pocketbooks on their sales. The New York Times reports:
Christy Fletcher, a literary agent in Manhattan, said royalty advances for so-called midlist authors could come under pressure. “Something may sell for $50,000 that would have sold for $100,000 a year ago,” she said.

Publishers continue to plan for blockbuster sales of marquee-brand books. Free Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, for example, has shipped 1.25 million copies of “You: Being Beautiful — The Owner’s Manual to Inner and Outer Beauty,” Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet C. Oz’s next book in their best-selling series of advice titles, which goes on sale on Tuesday. HarperCollins has shipped more than 300,000 copies of “The Hour I First Believed,” the new novel by Wally Lamb. (In March that publisher had announced a first-print run of half a million, though these numbers tend to be exaggerated.)

One silver lining of the downturn: Because many books are not selling as well as they might have in a better economy, it does not take nearly as many copies to have bragging rights about being a best seller.

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