“Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.” Ronald Reagan
An essay in the June 17th Publishers Weekly argued against tariffs on books. A large percentage of books for children of all ages are printed in China for U.S. publishers. In 2017, the average retail price for an illustrated juvenile book was $20.01. Underfunded public libraries and bookstores operating on slender margins will face new financial challenges. Publishers having to pass on the extra cost of tariffs would impact sales to families and to libraries already on tight budgets.
“Beneath the rule of men entirely great/ The pen is mightier than the sword.” Edward Bulwer-Lytton.
Of course, anything that affects the publishing industry badly, trickles down to the authors, editors, agents, and publicists. The July /August issue of Poets & Writers reports that opportunities for publishing careers are shrinking. “Over the past two decades, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people workings in book publishing has plummeted from just more than 91,000 in 1997 to roughly 60,000 at the end of 2018.”
“Advice to writers: sometimes you just have to stop writing. Even before you begin.” Stanislaw J. Lec
Still, not all the statistics are grim. First-time author Cliff Sim’s nonfiction book Team of Vipers went from number twelve to number six on Amazon’s bestseller list after our president’s no-stars revue on Twitter.
*Written by Carol Cail. Read more from Carol at carolcail.com