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Riis Marshall

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About Riis Marshall

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  • Reading now?
    'The Thirty-Nine Steps', 'Greenmantle', 'Mister Standfast' by John Buchan
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  • Interests
    Using reading as an excuse for not completing gardening and DIY projects as promised.

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  1. The high price of cheap books

    Hello Folks We, as writers, have to ask ourselves why we write. Yes, I agree this is an overworked cliché but please read on. Walk through any town at the foot of a mountain range and you're see two things. One is an outfitters' shop selling climbing, walking and camping gear. You will also see about four empty shop-fronts that were short-lived outfitters. These were operated by folks - usually two and usually guys, but not necessarily - who were mountaineers who hoped to earn enough to finance their hobby, their vocation, their passion. Those who operate the successful outfitters' shop are business people who may or may not also be mountaineers. Those who operated the now-closed shops are likely still passionate mountaineers but clearly not very good at business. So it is with we who write. We need to ask ourselves the question: which is more important to us, writing or running a successful business? Some time ago the Fender folks commissioned a study and concluded out of every 88,000 guitars they sold, one earns a living for somebody. Statistics I've seen for writers suggest out of every one-hundred who sit down to write a book, one completes it; out of every one-hundred books completed, one is published, and a bricks and mortar publisher expects one out of eight books published to earn a profit. That's one out of 80,000 - interesting parallel. Tony Black, a Scottish writer suggests the average annual earnings for a writer are £5000, certainly less than your £12,500, Talisman, but never mind. So what is the answer to this problem? The answer probably is there is no answer - sorry for another cliché. We write because we love writing, just as we read because we love reading. I recall sitting on a train reading Proust - yes I struggled through the entire 3700 pages and I'm still not sure what I achieved with that other than my being able to brag about it. A woman across the table from me commented her husband read it in the original French and they never, ever allowed any paperback books across their threshold. Bully for her, the pompous cow! I read mostly paperbacks because that's how I choose to spend my money and I buy used books because that, too, saves me money I can use to promote my own writing. Yes it would be nice to be contacted by an agent telling me she or he has found a publisher prepared to offer me a £20,00 advance for the next three in my current series. It's probably not going to happen. Yes it would be nice to be contacted by the folks at the BBC inviting me to do a Meet the Author interview. It's probably not going to happen. Yes it would be nice to earn enough from my writing to finance my travels around the country to promote my writing. I'm working on it. In any event, I'll keep writing. It's what I do. Thanks for listening. All the best with your reading and your writing. Warmest regards Riis
  2. Can anyone help me find out why this book is worth so much?

    Hello Folks This is my first post so please be gentle. Ditto Litwitlou. A book of mine (that shall remain nameless because I'm not here to flog books), non-fiction published in 1999, one edition, one printing sells new on Amazon.co.uk for £9.99 and used - good condition on Amazon.com is on offer for £176.08. I don't understand it either. All the best with your reading. Warmest regards Riis