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The book publishing paradox

October 23rd, 2018 by Bob Bly

There is an amazing paradox taking place in book publishing
today, and it’s this:

There are more books being published now than at any other time
in human history.

Walk in your local Barnes & Noble; you could spend the rest of
your life reading the books just in that store.

At the same time, it has become much more difficult for an author
to find a mainstream publisher for his book.

Now, how is it possible that we are drowning in books, yet
publishers are making it tougher than ever for authors to get
their books published?

Here’s the answer….

Self-publishing has taken off like a rocket — with self-published
paperbound books as well as ebooks — largely because of Kindle and

Plus, thanks mainly to Amazon, the supply of used books available
for purchase has increased almost exponentially — and it’s
easier than ever to find and buy the titles you want online.

Because bookselling is so competitive, traditional publishers now
focus on publishing new books by authors whom they believe can
sell a lot of copies on their own or working with the publisher.

For instance, Rachel Ray is not the best cook or the best writer
in the world, but she has written 20 best-selling cookbooks. Why?
Because her TV show is a platform from which she can sell her
books to a huge audience.

Therefore if she writes a new book on baking pies, she will
certainly get a contract from a major publisher, a big advance,
and sell a ton of books.

You may be a much better baker than Rachel Ray, but if you are
not a celebrity, a TV host, a radio personality, or do not have
another platform for reaching a large audience, your chances of
getting your pie book published by a real publishing house are
slim to none, as are the odds that it will sell many copies.

By comparison, it’s easy to publish a Kindle ebook and sell it on
Amazon. But the vast majority of self-published Kindle ebooks
sell only a few hundred copies or fewer.

That’s why book publishing is a somewhat tough nut to crack


This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018 at 12:40 pm and is filed under Writing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

10 responses about “The book publishing paradox”

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    Hello, here in Brazil we still do not use digital books and few people have a habit of reading.
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