Order on Demand

By Emily Goleski

“Writers, not just poets but all literary writers—up to and including the famous ones—do not make a living selling books.” (Stadler 23). One of the saddest realities for all aspiring writers is that they will not be able to make an extreme living off of their works. Most writers retain a small percentage of the profits connected to their pieces, lots of the income goes back to the publisher and editor. The only way for a writer to make these profits is to build up a public.

Books are only produced made on the demand there is for them. Authors tour cities and try to convince strangers to buy their ideas, compressed into a matter of pages, without meeting the author prior. Many publishers, especially smaller publishers, only produce the books when there is a particular demand for them, which allows the producer to save costs on over production. These producers are also afraid that a book might become old or irrelevant before they could be able to sell all of the copies they produce.

If someone wants their work to reach a greater audience they have to work hard for it. Thanks to copywriting laws people can be secure about their ideas and preserve them so that only they can profit from them. In older times, before secure copywriting laws existed, people would pirate pieces of literature and cheat the author out of any funds that could come to them through those productions. Now a days, the world is more secure in a person’s right to intellectual integrity. These authors are not secured freedom by their copyrights, though. There’s no fairytale of sending a manuscript in the mail and having it become a hit over night. After the bulk of writing is done, the author has to work even harder after production to try and create at least a small income off of their hard work. The entire writing process, from early ages to now, is still extremely stressful and time consuming.


3 thoughts on “Order on Demand

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  1. I loved how you discussed the “order on demand” aspect of publishing today and the split of profits for a writer. Did you also know that if a writer has an illustrator for their work the profits the writer would receive get split in half in order to pay the illustrator?

    I would love to see you discuss the “book on demand” a little more. If you could include how this may have changed previously or over time it would clarify why it’s so different and the reasons for it. Basically strengthen your argument.

    I’d also like to see you dive into the copyright law a little more. You mention it, but you don’t really relate how much writer’s suffered without the copyright law. Maybe you could talk a little about it and state how much better and safer it is to present your work nowadays. It would also strengthen your argument a bit and give a little depth to a topic you mention frequently.


  2. I think the topic of your blog is very interesting with such a focus of the in demand aspect of book publishing. I think you made a good point in emphasizing that most author’s do not make any money off the books they publish. The writer has a lot more to do than just write the book, but also to tour and get the word out about this book in order to make some sort of profit, however little, off their work. I am curious to see if you expanded the difference between larger publishing houses versus smaller publishers and how they handle distribution and the on-demand aspect of producing novels. I think that showing the differences between these two types of publishers would further your point about on-demand publishing.


  3. Tackling that quote about writing and money is a compelling way to begin the post. From there, I can see where you’re bringing in info from our readings (which is good!), but you need to be a bit clearer about those sources (include name of article/author that discuss pirating, for instance).

    In future posts, we also need either a link or an image. This could help you to ground general statements about authors/publishers. Link us to a particular small publisher and discuss how they work, or a particular author that’s doing the kind of promotion you discuss.

    You don’t have to include this here, but it’s worth considering, too, what our goals are when we write. Is it primarily to earn a living? Is it primarily to create art? What happens when those tasks ask very different things of a writer?


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