I must remember this every time I wonder about whether I should pursue the printing and sale of my book. For only the sale of 188 copies I could be long-listed for the Orange Prize.
With enough bullying and bribery I think I could find enough friends to manage that!
Perhaps I need to have the right friends?
In all seriousness, it just goes to show how difficult it is to get a book into the market place, even an excellent one (which I am sure Clare Clark's is). It is only when you have established yourself, or managed to find a niche market, that it can be more comfortable to make a living as an author.
It is often quoted that the average writer earns £5000 per annum, which is hardly enough to retire to the Bahamas on. Shame, though, because I was looking forward to seeing out my years lazing on a beach in the Caribbean...