Friday, August 24, 2007

A Mexican Bestseller?

Nobody ever tells me anything...

Okay, that's not true. My wife tells me things. La Gringa tells me things. The good people that write in here tell me things. So, more specifically... Nobody ever tells me when I make international bestseller lists!

I've got to find these things out myself every time. I've just discovered, belatedly, that the Spanish Language Pride of Carthage (Anibal, el orgullo de Cartago) made a cheeky, short-lived appearance on the Associated Press' Mexican Bestseller list. Thing is, it happened a few weeks ago, and the list is dated for the 10 of August. Proof here.

Cool. It seems like it was a one week blip, though. That got me wondering just how many books I might have sold in that week. Thought about it. Got no clue. Won't know anything about it for, oh... like nine months or so. For the record, it takes forever for the whole accounting of sales to get back to the lowly author. One must be patient. Still, I wondered. So I looked up Mexican book sales online...

Maybe shouldn't have done that. I came across this report on the subject by Senator Alfredo Ling Altamirano. Among other things, he said...

"The demand for books is directly related to the economic development of countries, if we consider book consumption per inhabitant. Annually, in the USA it is 89 U$S, in Germany 102 U$S, in Austria 95 U$S and Denmark 92 U$S. If, as the National Chamber of Mexican Publishing Industry (CANIEM) shows, Mexicans read 2.8 volumes per year, consumption per capita would be 8 U$S, which is pathetic. In Mexico 12 new books are produced daily. In the world, 4 thousand books are published daily. This means that Mexicans read little. In 1997, out of 93 million Mexicans, around 79 million had not been to a library in the previous year."

Oh. I see. So I won't be placing an order for that new Prius after all...

It's funny being an international bestseller. Feels a lot like not being an international bestseller, which, perhaps, is why nobody on the team has yet to draw my attention to it...

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Blogger John Dent said...

Congratulations--I think it's more of an achievement seen as they only read 2.8 books a year that you've managed to hit their bestsellers.
They're choosing YOUR book as one of the 2-3 they will be able to read that year!

10:43 AM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

John, Thanks for that. That's a good way to look at it.

1:39 PM  

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