Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Courage in Publishing?

When Gordon Brown published his book 'Courage' last year I marvelled at how he had time to write it and, of course, why did he bother. More to the point why did Bloomsbury advance him what was probably not an inconsiderable amount of money; my guess would be it was around £75,000. Brown would have needed some of that to pay his ghostwriter, would he not? I've just found out that 'Courage' as sold 3,983 copies. Given that it's been out for a month in paperback, after almost a year of hardback sales that's none too impressive. It's doubtful that Bloomsbury will have grossed over £25,000. Why would they do it?

3 comments:

Selena Dreamy said...

Very simple, Richard. They miscalculated.

Think of former Home Secretary, Davied Blunket. His advance was some £ 400.000, according to the Times of some two months ago. Thus far his publishers - is it Bloomsbury? - have flogged some 4000 copies.

Another gamble that didn't pay off - can't say I'm eschewing Schadenfreude...

Richard Havers said...

Ms D. It is indeed Bloomsbury, who also, of course, published Courage. I think it's not as simple as miscalculating, you wouldn't need to be a rocket scientist or even a soothsayer to work out that they were wildly optimistic.

bigrab said...

At the launch of the book GB spoke to one of the survivors of the 7/7 attacks who had lost her legs in the bombings. 'You epitomise perfectly the British heroic spirit' said the PM. 'But Prime Minister I'm an Aussie' said the woman. Exit GB not being able to think of anything to say or hide his embarrassment.