Rachel wrote: Why are established authors finding it difficult to sell their work? Are people not reading like they used to do?
A: Many reasons, Rachel, and yes, one of them is that fewer people are reading. There are too many other things vying for their attention–even I read less than I used to. Second, there are fewer publishers (they keep buying each other up and merging), hence there are fewer slots for books to be published. Third, the economy hit everyone hard, so publishers are risk averse–they want to take books they KNOW will sell, so they are less willing to take a chance on “maybe” projects or unknown authors. Fourth, the rise in self-published books, particularly ebooks, has resulted in a general lowering of the sales price, and now people either expect to get books FREE or for less than $5.00–a price point publishers generally aren’t willing to accept, so their ebook sales suffer, and hence their income suffers, which means less $ to pay authors. These are just a few of the reasons, and not everyone will agree with my perceptions.
Mary Kay wrote:
Fascinating details, Angie. Do you have a huge library at the house that you dip into repeatedly? Use public library? (Think I’d like my own library!) How much research do you do on-line?
A: I DO have a large library, Mary Kay, and fortunately, at least one of them in digitized (I have about 5,000 books in digital form, so I can search with a few clicks. Makes it so much easier!) But I also buy paper books on whatever topic I’m researching, and usually I have to discard or resell those books after a few years simply because my house only has so much room. I do some research online, but you have to be careful with anything found online–I look for trusted sources or for information that can be verified elsewhere. All together, research is so much easier than it used to be. I used to spend hours at the library, but not any more because I can usually find things faster at home.
Rachel wrote: If Xerxes was really that insane, however did he manage to run a kingdom? I’m really looking forward to reading Esther.
A: I was using hyperbole when I said “insane,” but I do believe he was mentally ill. And he ran a kingdom the same way other mentally ill kings, queens, and presidents have managed to run kingdoms and countries–they had help. All those underlings, captains, governors, servants, counselors . . . I think the picture will be clearer once you read the book.
Thanks for coming along on this latest book of the month. I’ve done these features for nearly all my books, so if you’re interested on the background of any other title, just do a search for BOM in the archives!