I am halfway through reading the life of Erich Maria Remarque, (All Quiet on The Western Front, A Time to Live and a Time to Die, etc) having completed the biography of Somerset Maugham, (Of Human Bondage, Cakes and Ale, etc). It is incredible to me, how those two men in the 20th century, even with the sales of only one book when published, had them translated and circulated worldwide, which made them a fortune. This enabled them to start their own art collections, of mostly the Impressionists, that in today’s money would be worth more than most countries’ GSP.
In 1948 Maugham said ‘that now was the best time in the history of books for sales, and that in twenty years’ time there would be a huge decline! Whether he was seeing the advent of television as a threat, or technology as a whole, we don’t know.
Personally, I would think that today worldwide, there are more books published than ever before, be it independently or otherwise, without even thinking of the number of e-books available. As a confirmed reader I couldn’t be happier, however as an author selling my books, it certainly isn’t as easy today as those two gentlemen had it then.
There is nothing though, that can beat the feeling of pleasure and pride, when you get your book hot off the printing press, and hold it in your hands for the very first time.
Evan G Andrew
Author of ‘Shadows in the Night,’ the sequel ‘Shadows of Doubt,’ and ‘The Spanish Woman.’