Bookish Topic Tuesday
Books About Everything
I’m staggered sometimes that people actually publish books about some topics. Of course in this age of self publication you can really publish anything. A quick search around Goodreads elicits books such as [links included if they interest you!] Fancy Coffins to Make Yourself, Old Tractors and the Men Who Love Them: How to Keep Your Tractors Happy and Your Family Running, Knitting With Dog Hair: Better A Sweater From A Dog You Know and Love Than From A Sheep You’ll Never Meet. Unsurprisingly [perhaps] these books all have less than 40 reviews, the first one, only 5, so they aren’t exactly bestsellers. But they are examples of the fact that just about anything gets published these days. And these weren’t self-published, these were published by actual publishing houses (which still exist!).
I think I’m staggered because the publishing house has obviously made a financial decision that these books are worthy of publish, or, I guess, the author paid for them to be published. I do wonder just how many copies of these books are sold. Which makes me wonder about the average number of books sold for a published book, I recently heard a talk from a magician who has performed at the Edinburgh comedy festival, and he said that the average audience at a show was 4, which meant that in some shows, nobody turned up. So I guess it’s somewhat the same with books, most of them sell only a couple of copies. A bit of a google search suggests the average book sells less than 2,000 copies.
Three books I’ve read which I think are great books, but somewhat unconventional, though I think have sold a lot more than 2,000 are:
I love charts – the book by Jason Oberholtzer and Cody Westphal. A strange little book filled with you guessed it, charts, which are beautiful, funny or insightful. Their tumblr is worth a look.
Hyperbole and a half by Allie Brosh. I have seen a fair bit of her blog and love it, the book is just as great, though half of the content is online.
Weird Things Customers say in Bookstores by Jen Campbell plus its sequel. I really couldn’t see myself buying this book, it has zero rereadability or value, yes it’s a nice little read to sigh and laugh but only worth a borrow from a library.
Interestingly all three of these books have internet blog origins. Which I guess says something about today’s market. Get yourself a popular blog, and soon enough you can start writing books with content you’ve already put on your blog, plus some more never before seen content.
What’s the most unusual book have you read? Or perhaps seen?