Publishers Weekly just announced that despite the doom and gloom that publishers would like us authors (and you readers) to believe, 2010 was a very profitable year. Random House sales alone last year were the largest gains since 2006, before the economic crisis set in. Penguin reported that they were in record earnings and had an operating margin of above 10%. This is excellent news.
Even better, ebook sales at Random House jumped 250% over the previous year. That’s an insane increase, especially that even in 2007 major houses were wondering still if the ebook thing was “just a passing fad”.
All of this translates to a potentially robust recovery for booksellers and, hopefully, higher royalty checks for us piddling authors. This means more book for the readers (yay!) and even (heaven forbid!) more advances for us to pay our phone bills.
In case you haven’t been able to tell, I’m a big fan of someone paying my phone bill. Especially when it also increases my Amazon ranking for sales.
Recently there was this big brouhaha over a review of a self-published book. The author took exception to a few editing comments that the reviewer pointed out with pretty much the exact opposite of what an author should do. Even if it’s a terrible review, an author should always say “Thank you for the review”. I don’t care if the reviewer recommends that they douse the book in holy water then set it on fire. You ALWAYS be courteous and thank them. I wrote a somewhat negative review of a book over at SBR awhile back and the author could have flipped out but instead, despite it being the first review of her book, thanked me for the honest review. She has the potential to take her lumps in rejection letters and go far if she maintains that sort of attitude.
Professionalism starts early. The growing of the thick skin should start sooner.