I just came across this earlier post from 2012 and thought it was a good one to repost now.
For such a small publication, there is a wealth of intelligent thought that has gone into the writing of So Many Books: Reading and Publishing in an Age of Abundance by Gabriel Zaid (Paul Dry Books, Inc., 2003). There are far too many quotable passages that would run me the risk of listing too much of the text, thereby committing copyright infringement. The book is still available to order and purchase, though, so I urge you to buy your own copy.
In the meantime, here’s a quote from P. 60 I will be using from now on whenever dealing with writers, and already published authors, who wish to publish their books, but require a good dose of reality:
What is desirable is not that all books should have millions of readers, but that they should attain their natural readership – the readership they might have in a perfect world where distribution was flawless and price not an issue, giving every possible interested reader the opportunity to read them.
So, when you tell me that everyone will want to read your book, or that you expect it will become a bestseller, please consider the above quote and adjust your expectations.