Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Sunday, February 17, 2013

An author who cares about books, and one who cares only about money

I recently read this unpleasant article by Terry Deary, author of the Horrible Histories series. I found my breath quite taken away. Between 2000 and 2009 Terry Deary sold books to a total value of £21.6 million. Authors typically make around 10% of net sales, so be charitable and say he made 5% of that: £1.08 million over ten years, so £108,000 a year minimum from book sales. so Deary is hardly a struggling author. "Booksellers, authors and publishers need to eat", he reminds us. Indeed they do, and while 108 grand a year doesn't put him in isn't in the same league as JK Rowling (or probably our other local literary celebs Alexander McCall Smith and Ian Rankin) he's unlikely to be reduced to living off tins of dogfood, or even non-vintage champagne.

Yet this greedy little nonentity (one of the most-borrowed authors too, hence making the most of library lending rights as well) believes libraries have been rendered irrelevant by compulsory education. In fact, to judge from this letter it's Deary's slapdash attitude to facts which compulsory edication has rendered irrelevant.

Compare and contrast a real struggling author, Clare Sudbery (whose secret identity - but which is Bruce Wayne and which Batman? - also gave us this). Clare (along with her son) has been taking part in protests and an occupation to protest council plans to close her local library. And this is despite the fact that none of the Manchester libraries contains either of her books. (They have 245 copies of Terry Deary's though.)

Go Clare!

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