Thursday, May 25, 2006

What's with this middle book thing?

Some time ago (15th March), I wrote a post about how my middle book didn't sell as well as books 1 and 3, which struck me as very peculiar. Now I have further confirmation of the missing middle book syndrome ... it has spread to the persons in library acquisitions.

Some of you may not know this, but in Australia, local authors are paid a sum of money each year according to the (estimated) number of books of theirs in public and school libraries (AUD $1.43c per book). I have just received my statement for the past year - and whaddya know, there are almost the same number of books 1 & 3 (a difference of 3 copies throughout Oz!), but 14% less copies of book 2. Huh? Now why would libraries acquire 1 and 3, but not 2??

Or is it that library users, having not bought the middle book, are now stealing it from their library? Ah, the mystery to be solved by some inspired sleuthing librarian...


Kendall said...

That's totally bizarre! If you find the answer, of course please blog about it so we'll know. (This might be one of those forever-unsolved mysteries, though.)

The Australian system of compensating authors for library purchases is awesome, BTW.

chocolatetrudi said...

More like they're stealing the first and last, which explains the higher purchase rate. The libraries have to replace them.

Glenda Larke said...

Lol, Trudi!! But then, it doesn't explain why they are not stealing the middle one as well?

Yes, Kendall, Australia is kind to its writers compared to many, many other countries.