“People who buy books only buy an average of seven books a year, and a lot of those are for Christmas,” said Mr Roberts.
I think what Mr Roberts actually means is that when you take into account readers who buy books by celebrity authors etc., the average yearly book buying figure is seven books a year (which probably means they buy one book each every three or four years!) However, the readers who really love books and help keep the industry afloat year in and year out buy far more than that on average (I’m a fairly slow reader by some people standards, but I still buy about sixty or seventy books a year.)
Yet again one has to ask oneself, Has the industry got the right set of priorities? Are these readers — those who buy one or two books, if that, at Christmas — a good long-term investment? Would they not be better pushing hitherto undiscovered authors (real authors who can actually write the books themselves!), building careers and long-term investments that will pay financially and culturally?
Good books are not, by and large, fashion trends. They endure. By all means, publish interesting celebrity biographies/autobiographies, but remember… we faithful readers are not only for Christmas. When your David Beckhams and the likes of Katie Price are long gone, we’ll still be here demanding quality fiction. Don’t overcommit to disposable products. Encourage innovation and freshness — literature, God dammit!
Trust me. It’ll be worth it, truly it will.