Monday Madness: How to Succeed In Publishing Without Really Trying?

I Heard It Through The Grapevine:

At BEA 2012, Bowker vice-president for publishing services Kelly Gallagher released their newest self-published books figures.

For 2011, the number of self-published titles (based on ISBNs) was 211,269. The numbers for 2010 were 133,036.

Two Hundred Eleven Thousand plus self-published books were written and published last year?

My head hurts just thinking about it.

Among the other insights Gallagher shared on the self-publishing market: the most popular genre in terms of units is fiction (45%), but that nonfiction leads in sales (38%).

The average price for a self-published fiction book was… $6.94  Nonfiction titles commanded $19.32.

And while e-books accounted for 41% of self-published units, they only accounted for 11% of sales. The reason? The average self-published e-book sold for $3.18, while trade paperbacks had an average price of $12.68 and hardcovers averaged $14.40.

According to Bowker, Amazon’s CreateSpace was the largest player in the self-publishing space last year, publishing 57,602 titles; AuthorSolutions‘ various imprints did 41,605 books, and Lulu 30,019.

I don’t have the statistics at hand but I’d be willing to place a small bet that the percentage of first-time, first-book authors on that list exceeds ninety precent.

I’d  also suspect that over ninety percent of those authors will sell far less than one hundred books each.

Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics

I read eight (8) to ten (10) professionally published books a month. My completion rate (that means I read a book from front to back without tossing it because it was either awful or so boring or so badly edited I couldn’t stand it) is around ninety-five (95) percent.

Also, in any given month I read (or attempt to) somewhere between fifteen and twenty manuscripts. My completion rate is less than than five percent.

The number of self-published titles I read last year was twenty (20). I finished exactly six (6) of them. For the year 2010 the numbers were twelve (12) and three (3).

And the reasons for low completion rate?

More than one mis-spelled word per page over the first ten pages, characters changing names and/or genders from chapter-to-chapter, lack of cohesiveness to the story…

And the number one reason?

Plot Failure.


About Gwendolyn McIntyre

Author, editor, businesswoman, musician, lover of jazz and horses. Chief investigator of all things that go BUMP in the night.
This entry was posted in Blogging, Books, Paying Attention, People, Publishing, Reading, Things you might have learned had you been paying attention, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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