Previous posts in this discussion:
PostHow Do Library Books Become "Unavailable"? (Edward Jajko, USA, 01/19/19 4:49 am)
I join JE in asking Timothy Brown how "a number of university libraries" have made his book The Real Contra War "unavailable." And, if he knows, which ones? WorldCat lists at least 620 copies in various public, college, and university libraries. (620 copies! Makes for a comfortable retirement, no?)
Books can become "unavailable" within libraries for many reasons, among them theft or other misappropriation, "squirreling-away," mislabeling, incorrect shelving, and of course malicious interference for political or other ideological reasons. Tim may recall the library of the Hoover Institution, which had closed stacks and idiosyncratic classification systems. Materials incorrectly shelved could be lost for years.
JE comments: Important insight from WAISworld's foremost librarian, Ed Jajko. For an academic book, 620 copies is very good. In Hispanic literary studies (my field), sales of 150-200 would already be a bestseller.
Anyone who's tried recently to publish a scholarly book knows that the industry is in crisis, even obsolescence. Our own Ronald Hilton saw this 35 years ago, when he embraced the Internet as the way to reach the largest audience inexpensively. Academia has failed to catch up, though: even as it becomes increasingly difficult to publish a work in ink-and-paper form, scholars still don't get adequate recognition for electronic publications.
"The Real Contra War" and Royalties
(Timothy Brown, USA
01/21/19 1:55 PM)
I thank Edward (January 19th) Jajko for his research, although my question was how many of my colleagues in WAIS have read my book The Real Contra War, not how many libraries have misplaced, lost or buried a copy.
In fact I had no idea so many copies have even been sold, since my contract with UOK Press requires them to send me an accounting of all sales of it. I'm a freelance writer and have to declare my income on my tax return. I'll go back to my tax documents and see if I can confirm that they made these reports and I received royalties for their sales to academic libraries of that many copies, since I can assure Ed I've never received anywhere near enough from sales of all five of my books to do much more than buy an occasional lunch at Starbucks.
Thankfully I'm a retired Consul General, so I live off my pension not my research books. Maybe my next book From Warriors to Witches will do better.
JE comments: "Freelance writer" has such a glamorous ring to it, but it must be a constant struggle to pay the bills. I would never be brave enough to go down that uncertain road.
Who in WAISworld can give us more insight on the economics of freelancing?