There is that old saying that ‘any press is good press’ – just ask Dan Brown and his movie The Da Vinci Code from 2006…
Lorna Page is apparently a 93 year-old lady from the UK who published her first novel A Dangerous Weakness through the self-publishing company AuthorHouse. What is so amazing about this nonagenarian is that today her book, her name and her story are one of the hottest news items on the ‘net (44 different news sites covering the topic as of early this morning).
What did Lorna Page do that was so amazing? Is her book A Dangerous Weakness so incredible as to deserve this level of attention?
Nope – she simply bought a house for her and some friends… and some very clever PR person linked the purchasing of the house with the publication of her book – and along the way created the inference that the two were in some way connected. Only one news article actually claims the book is the genesis of her new wealth.
Three things come to mind:
1 – when you are published by Authorhouse (or iUniverse, Dog Ear Publishing, xLibris or any other self-publishing company) you don’t get an advance. Period. You pay to get published. If AuthorHouse had paid an author an advance big enough to buy a $300K house, you bet THEY’D be bragging about it in all the news venues… funny – no press release on either the Authorhouse.com or Authorhouse.uk sites…
2 – what do her sales really reflect as far as units and money? Let’s use the Amazon.com sales rank to get some idea of what she is selling… (this will come from the Amazon Sales Rank article at Dog Ear Publishing).
She currently has a sales rank (for the paperback at Amazon.com) of 20,457 … based upon very very loose estimates, it means she’s selling about 50 copies per week. With a book published by AuthorHouse, if you look at how they calculate profit, this book is most likely at a 10% author royalty. This means Lorna Page makes about $2 per book sold… at $100 per week (or even if you DOUBLED that amount) she isn’t paying for a mortgage with the book monies. (I’m going to take a quick moment to brag on Dog Ear Publishing a bit – if she’d published through us she’d be making $4.55 per book / $450 per week – still not enough to buy a $300K house, but better…)
3 – this is a reinforcement of the lesson that selling books is all about awareness – Lorna Page and her PR folk are to be commended for an incredible job of creating awareness! Kudos to all involved – what a fantastic example of viral marketing gone wild. Each and every author should take a look at their book, their life, and each and every day to see what opportunities exist to build awareness. Take this blog as an example – just by reading the news I found a way to attract readers to my blog and to a certain degree promote my company … Dog Ear Publishing, in case you missed it above …
So – what are you waiting for?