Books and photos by Anne Hart.
Will the books you and I write today someday be recycled into bathroom tissue? Not all authors become famous. When I started writing in 1959 I was so enthusiastic about writing books (and plays), wrote one after the other, spent years in research of the topics, even earned a graduate and undergraduate degree in writing...but I ended up pushing 80 and still an unknown but published author.
Seems the books go out of print quickly, unless there's a celebrity or the book sales meet a quota. Now that I'm long retired, my motto is I should have majored in math and taught college courses in calculus...would have had a better chance of finding a longer-lasting job than I did by majoring in creative writing. Ironically, all the dozen books I wrote for major publishers went out of print years ago, but the many more (print-on-demand books) that cost a lot of my savings to have printed are still in paperback, whether anyone reads them or not.
Just thought I'd mention this since I'm probably the most unread author there is during the years I wrote, but probably the one who loves to read books all the same because they make me feel cherished. In the 1980s, the agent copyrighted the books in the name of his company. And later on, when I had a different agent, the publishing company said I'd have to pay $300 to get the rights back on my out-of-print book if I wanted to print it at my own expense with some other firm.
No way. I'm a very low income senior. So I went on to write other works on different topics, and published the new works print on demand. If few people bought the brick-and-mortar publisher's books I wrote, so the books went out of print, fewer still would have bought the books if I were rich enough to pay to get the rights back from the publisher.
There are plenty of other things in life to do to stay happy and feeling okay. So I look forward. Besides, it's healthier to be happy. But now any articles I write, I always ask to keep the rights on what I write, since nobody is offering to buy any of my articles for money...wooo...So I write for free at this time and feel good about owning the rights on what I write. My paperback books would have ended up recycled anyway by now and probably turned into bathroom tissue. Sign me granny Annie, always smiling.