What a fine, fine day.

The rediscovered blog of Andrew John Moore. Now with less angst!

Thursday, November 10, 2005


I'm at work and totally stuck.

The same, annoying problem has been the subject of my work for a week now. And to make things worse, it's the last tiny detail. Everything else is great (for a given value of great), but it needs just one element before the client will buy it...and I can't get it.

Just. So. Stuck.

Meh. I've already given up on the "write a novel in a month" thing. When you miss a couple of days and you're 3500 words behind, it gets kind of daunting. Especially as I usually (usually!) do about 500-750 words a day when I'm seriously writing. My other excuse is that I am a pro writer, and much like any other hobby that becomes work: at the end of the day the last thing I really want to do spend another hour and a half writing.

There's another bump in the road in the whole "write a novel" quest - it doesn't seem to be worth the effort. Turns out that the publishing industry is totally mordibund. Unless you already have a fan base, you're unlikely to sell any books for one nasty reason. The publishers don't sell the books to book readers, the sell to book shops - and book sellers have no interest in buying a book they know nothing about. So they'll only take the books which the publishers market.

And they're not going to be marketing you. The (granted, US) figure is that about 2% of all books sold more than 5000 copies in 2004. If you're earning about a dollar a book (probably less), that ain't good.

There was the other statistical novelty from a couple of years back. 10% of books sold in the UK are sci-fi/fantasy. 10% of them are Pratchetts. Which sounds cool, except when you're suddenly looking at being the competition.

The horrible truth is that a best seller used to be in the 100 000 copies region, now it's 10 000.

So I had better write a bloody good crap fantasy book if I'm going to retire a quaint little English hut.