Lastly, in the hope that it’s not too late to save some of the writers on this list from complete oblivion, in all but one instance, every book featured on this list is currently in print.
I’d like to say that some of these 10 Great Writers Nobody Reads Anymore were familiar to me already. Boy, I’d like to say that.
The open secret is that literary fiction does not pay big dividends. At least not to most of its writers and publishers. Even with excellent reviews, there’s no guarantee that your book will sell. Little Known Facts had a mid-five-figure advance and it has earned about three-fifths of it back so far. It was reviewed in several major-market newspapers and won a couple of awards. I did readings in cities all over the country to promote it, wrote many guest blog posts, and all told, it has probably sold about 23,000 copies.
Worth remembering the cold hard facts about writing and publishing a book.
Paperbacks, which remain the most popular format, also saw strong sales at $4.84 billion compared to $4.42 billion and units sold at 942 million compared to 882 million in 2013.
That’s almost 1 billion paperbacks sold in 2014.
Called Lost My Name, the company uses algorithms to create children’s books based on the letters in their name. Today they’re announcing a $9 million funding raise from Google Ventures, Greycroft, The Chernin Group, Allen & Co, and angel investor Cris Conde.
Each book follows the same premise. The main character has lost his or her name and has to go on a journey to retrieve it. The other characters in the book are determined by the letters in a given name. For instance, in my book, I met a robot, a unicorn, a troll, and a hippo, each of which gave me a letter to help me figure out my lost name.
So far the company has sold 600,000 books in two years.
Either Silicon Valley is running out of good investment ideas or there is more juice in books than people think.