The summer issue of the fabulous Mslexia magazine arrived today. Flipping through it over dinner, I noticed two things of interest.
First there was an article titled “The Price of Fame”, in which industry journalist Liz Thomson reveals how much publishers have to pay in order to get their books promoted by chain stores.
Those 3 for 2 offers in Waterstones? It costs £1,000 per book to get included. As for the Richard & Judy Book Club (now a promotion through WH Smiths rather than a TV Programme), that will set you back a cool £20,000.
And no, that does not prove that publishers pay me thousands of dollars to get their books into the Locus Recommended Reading List.
The other item of interest was an article by author Elizabeth Chadwick on writing historical thrillers. Apparently there are several women making a name for themselves writing books that are similar in style to those written by Bernard Cornwell. But you wouldn’t know it from looking at their books. Chadwick’s top tip for success in the field is as follows:
Change your name. If you write a swash-buckling romance choose a gender-neutral name — men are less likely to buy books they think are by women.
No, I am not making this up.