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Why Sell Books?

In a previous post I dealt with the question of How Books Sell, and tried to explain that trade books that make it big, if they make it big, do so by receiving substantial media attention.  When Reza Aslan had that immortal (not to say immoral) interview on FOX, it sealed the deal.  His book went up to #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list – every author’s dream.   Without the interview, it wouldn’t have happened. In this post I want to deal with a correlative question that may have been on precisely no one’s mind: Why Sell Books?   Well, it’s on my mind, anyway.  And it’s on my mind because invariably when a scholar publishes a book for a popular audience, his/her colleagues (some of them) in the field get all sniffy and huffy about it.   What you often hear them say (when they don’t know you’re listening) is: “Oh, he just wants to sell books!” You’d think I’d be ready for this by now, but I’m flabbergasted every time it happens, still.   [...]

2020-04-03T17:15:08-04:00March 27th, 2014|Bart's Critics, Book Discussions|

How Books Are Sold

How Jesus Became God is released tomorrow. So I’m pumped. This is the most exciting time for an author of a trade book (written for a general audience). It’s always great, of course, beginning the research on a new project; and it’s always fantastic, if nerve wracking, to begin the writing; of course it’s always a huge relief to finish the book and send it off to the publisher. But the most exciting time is when the book is just about to be released. Outside of my small little world of trade book authors, the whole process is not well known. At least, it was not known to me, even as a widely published scholar, before I went into this world. In fact, it took a couple of trade books before I started understanding this world. One thing that I completely misunderstood, as a scholar just starting to write books for a general audience, was what it was that created sales. At first I thought that if you wrote a good book, it would sell [...]

2020-04-03T17:15:16-04:00March 24th, 2014|Book Discussions|
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