I’m not assertive. My voice is not loud and even when I have strong opinions I like to let others have their say. Those of us who’ve been beaten down too many times can be like that. So it took a lot of courage to ask. “Is it possible that Nightmares with the Bible might be issued in paperback?” You see, I know that “academic” books almost always sell the copies they’re going to sell in the first year. Some follow-up sales continue into years two and three, but beyond that it’s about done. And I also know that when authors ask for a paperback it almost never sells as well (or even more poorly) than the hardcover. I’m hoping the paperback of Nightmares will buck this trend because it published into the pandemic. That was a game-changer.
When you’re worried about staying alive you might not feel like reading about demons. Of course, what better time to do so is there? Paperbacks are often produced, in academic settings, to appease authors. I have long believed—and this flies counter to the orthodoxy of the publishing world—that if books were initially published in paperback and priced affordably they would sell better. The fear is that the higher priced hardcovers wouldn’t be purchased by libraries. Librarians would, oh tremble, purchase the reasonably priced paperbacks and rebind them for less expense than the stratospheric price put on a 208-page monograph. Publishers are often afraid to try anything different. Assured sales are a blessing that can be bankrolled.
I’m hoping, once the paperback comes out, to do some more promotional work on it. This blog was started long before I had books to flog. It’s free content for those who like the less sweet kinds of treats in the bowl. I do appreciate the occasional free advertising I can do. It’s my hope that there’s always something to learn offered with it. Successful content providers can make a living doing it. Others pay for the privilege. I often ponder what will happen to this blog when I run up against the size limits of my WordPress account. The next level up, commercial, is beyond my price range. Perhaps, like a phoenix, it will be time to start all over again when that moment comes. In the meantime I’ll reuse images as often as I can, because each new one takes a byte out of my account. And when it’s all said and done, Nightmares will still be available in print. Hopefully in paperback next year.