More than 700 book reviews

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Vacation time!

August 31, 2016

Hi! Please don’t be surprised if you see no new posts from me during the first two weeks of September. I’ll be out of the country and will have limited access to the Internet, if any at all. But I’ll be back in mid-month. Keep on reading! Cheers, mal

Wondering why nearly all my book reviews are favorable?

If you’ve read more than a few of my book reviews, you’ve probably noticed that I rate every book on a five-@ system, and that I usually award books a rating of @@@@@, @@@@, or at least @@@. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve described a book as less than @@@ more than a couple… Read More ›

Summer reading bonus

Over the last few months, I’ve been reading more than usual. “Usual” is, or at least was for awhile now, two or three books per week. Lately, though, it’s been four or five. The upshot is that my queue of upcoming reviews has gotten clogged. So, starting Monday, July 6, I’ll be posting one review… Read More ›

Do publishers market books?

Sadly, the answer to the question in this title is, for the most part, no. Most book marketing today is done by authors, not publishers. Publishers have managed to stay afloat in this worsening marketplace only by shifting more and more marketing responsibility to authors, to cut costs and prop up sales. In recognition of… Read More ›

Who actually buys books today?

Author, beware! Most books today are selling only to the authors’ and publishers’ communities. Everyone in the potential audience for a book already knows of hundreds of interesting and useful books to read but has little time to read any of them. Therefore people are reading only books that their communities make important or even… Read More ›

Is it harder, or easier, to sell books today?

It’s getting harder and harder every year to sell books. Many book categories have become entirely saturated, with a surplus of books on every topic. It’s increasingly difficult to make any book stand out. Each book is competing with more than ten million other books available for sale, while other media are claiming more and… Read More ›

“So many books! Why isn’t mine in the store?”

My friend — also my editor and publisher — Steve Piersanti, who founded and runs Berrett-Koehler Publishers, has been tracking sales and other key publishing industry data for many years and frequently updating it. Here’s what he reported most recently: A book has far less than a 1% chance of being stocked in an average bookstore…. Read More ›

How many copies of books do authors sell?

My friend — also my editor and publisher — Steve Piersanti, who founded and runs Berrett-Koehler Publishers, has been tracking sales and other key publishing industry data for many years and frequently updating it. Here’s what he reported most recently: Average book sales are shockingly small — and falling fast. Combine the explosion of books published… Read More ›

Are book sales rising?

My friend — also my editor and publisher — Steve Piersanti, who founded and runs Berrett-Koehler Publishers, has been tracking sales and other key publishing industry data for many years and frequently updating it. Here’s what he reported most recently: Book industry sales are declining, despite the explosion of books published. Adult nonfiction print book unit… Read More ›

How many books are published each year?

My friend — also my editor and publisher — Steve Piersanti, who founded and runs Berrett-Koehler Publishers, has been tracking this and other key publishing industry data for many years and frequently updating it. Here’s what he reported most recently: According to the latest Bowker Report (October 9, 2013), over 391,000 books were self-published in… Read More ›