This essay has two principal aims: first, to help writers, literary agents, and publishers to understand the full scale of the difficulties that face them; and second, to suggest strategies which will enable such participants in the book trade to survive and perhaps even prosper.
mic-citation system, and it doesn't matter whether the academic field is physics or social science.
It is also important to note that the concentration effect becomes more marked, not less, as the size of the pool of works on offer increases. The more product that is available, the more the big hits dominate and stand out.
How black swans come about
The appearance of a black swan is influenced by, among other factors, the 'tipping-point mechanism'. Contagious diseases spread furiously above a certain minimum level (the tipping point), but die down below that level.
In the arts, the mechanisms of contagion are accelerated by the media, and, of course, by word-of-mouth recommendation. Thomas Gilbert and his colleagues at the University of California have used some statistical methods which are normally applied to phenomena such as the spread of diseases, or earthquake aftershocks, in order to analyse the spread of information about books. They distinguish between exonogous (external)
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