Before we look at my modest expectations, let's first examine the problems associated with being a celebrity. First of all, you have no private life. Those awful people in the media will do anything to find out about your sordid life (notice how it's your sordid life and not mine anymore!) There is ample evidence of their underhand tricks in the controversy surrounding voicemail hacking by a certain newspaper, the sensational revelations about certain footballers and their penchant for callgirls, dirty texting to busty models, and getting friend's wives and girlfriend's into bed. Oh, I know women do it as well, but it seems that men are better (or should it be worse) at it! Also, you have to call your children Peaches, Sage Moonblood, or Pilot Inspektor! Then, you have to let the cameras into your home so that the minions can watch you brushing your teeth, eating, and abluting every week! Have I convinced you that being a celebrity is not what it's cracked up to be? No! Oh well, when you've got screaming fans pounding on your door night and day and crawling in through the catflap don't come crying to me!
Louisa tells that it took her seven months until her book was selling well. Seven months! And she had to do a load of things to get noticed (she doesn't say what she had to do, but I've drawn a line in the sand - I drew a circle and a triangle as well, and had some ice cream also). She realised that as her sales rocketed, so did her expectations. Suddenly, when sales dropped from a hundred a day to fifty a day, she was devastated - Ha! We should all be so devastated! Anyway, she's seen her therapist, and he says that fifty sales a day is so-so!
So, this Tony (who I've never heard of btw) puts an electron microscope to the methods writers used in the past to get their books noticed, such as Hemingway, Simenon, Whitman, and de Maupassant - to drop a few names. Well, what's clear is that if you want to be famous you have to get your hands dirty and self-promote. It's all a bit dirty though, isn't it?
Someone did a survey, and what sells books is:1) Author reputation 52%; 2) Personal recommendation 49% (word of mouth, scuttlebutt on the forums); 3) Price 45%; 4) Book reviews (37%); 5) Cover/blurb 22%; 6) Advertising (including online) 14%. Don'tcha just love objective evidence? You can work with data like that can'tcha - can'tcha hey? There have been some comments (see comments) that the figures don't add up to 100%! Well, it seems logical to me that people were asked to choose more than one answer - I suppose! American Booksellers Association - Check it out for yourself you unbelievers! But hey, does it really matter? For one, the truth is out there! (They should bring back the X Files). And for two, the figures (whether they add up to 100% or not) have a beauty all their own!