Friday, 31 July 2009

Wages Day!

So, everyone knows that there's not much money in academic publishing, right? Well, not for the authors, anyway. You write a book, and if you are lucky get it published by a good publishing house, and are thankful for the rewards it brings you in tenure/promotion, but dont expect it to be the next Harry Potter. Short run single author monographs have a different purpose in the world than that, and mostly end up on library shelves, if on any shelves at all. The contract you sign means that the books have to sell enough to pay for themselves being made, before you see any money back at all. So, we dont do it for the money, right? (But try explaining that to non-academics. "yes, I worked 4 years on my thesis, and another 2 years on turning it into a book, and no, I'm not getting paid....")

I'm really proud of my two books (see right): and I love to see them on my bookcase. I once had the pleasure of seeing someone on the tube reading Image to Interpretation! (Well, I did know them, and we were on the way to the same academic conference, but still). I'm also proud, in this day and age when we keep hearing tales that academic publishing is going down the dumper, that I managed to crank out a couple of physical books (and three more are hopefully on the way, although edited collections, in the next year) before it becomes harder and harder to do so.

But this week, through the snail mail, oh wonder of wonders. A royalty cheque! From OUP! For the sales of Image to Interpretation over the past two years, which has now sold enough to net me...

£23.91!

I want to buy something I can enjoy and or/ keep with this. Perhaps a reference book - but which one? perhaps a nice bottle of something. So, dear blog reader, anything to suggest?

3 comments:

@EmVicW said...

Wow you are so cool! :)

I shall put my mind to some good ideas.

Matt Whyndham said...

Well, if you wanted to plough it back into the soil, your own domain name and/or hosting?

Melissa said...

Matt, that's a great suggestion.