Yesterday I wrote a post about the amazing job some PR firm has done in creating a buzz around Lorna Page and her novel A Dangerous Weakness. I figured one post was enough, but I just couldn’t resist continuing to watch the saga unfold (it’s just such a brilliant use of viral marketing…). The thing freaking everyone out about this book is the insinuated claim of big money coming from the book.
In all fairness, the amount of money she may be making from the book isn’t huge, but it’s far better than most self-published books. Actually, if you look at her Amazon sales, she’s selling better than 95% of ALL the books on Amazon – even the traditionally published ones!
One of the interesting routes I started down was the fact that her sales wouldn’t generate enough profit to purchase the house – based on the Amazon.com sales ranking yesterday. Her Amazon sales ranks has continued to improve as of today – it now stands at 18,883 – so sales are clicking along nicely, but still not at a level to support a mortgage. Guess what though? The sales are going along well enough that this will have been / will become a very profitable self publishing venture for the author (assuming she paid some reasonable amount for the services she received and that sales continue at somewhere close to this moderate pace). This could be considered a successful self published novel – without even having any idea whether its any good or not… It’s not burning up the best-seller charts, but it is far above the ‘average’ sales rate of most independently published books (whether the author used a self-publishing company or not).
See – in the beginning it’s all about awareness…
An additional tidbit I’ve uncovered is that AuthorHouse is offering this book to the wholesale market at a 35% discount from retail – very low – versus the standard 50% plus. This is great for the profitability of the book and if the author is seeing a large portion of the profit – though it does pretty much guarantees that a brick-and-mortar (even a Barnes & Noble or Borders) won’t be economically capable of carrying the book, even if they were so inclined (it’s also non-returnable). So – the sales she’s getting from Amazon and B&N.com are pretty much all she’s getting.
None of the above items make any difference – really- in the world of self publishing if your goal is to sell books through your own site or via the online resources (which are typically the best business model you can have… no physical inventory, no returns, no risk – a good deal for the author, the publisher and the retailer) – but it continues to call into question the story about this book…
Another interesting profit note – If the wholesale discount is 35%, then AuthorHouse gets paid $12.99 for the book. AuthorHouse passes along $2 to the author – leaving $10.99 for them. Every publisher has a fixed cost of printing a book… but I guarantee that it isn’t anything even close to $10.99 (and, since it’s print-on-demand there aren’t any significant warehouse, shipping or handling fees). Seems the author is getting the short end of the stick on this one. Every publisher is expected to make a profit from each sale – it’s in the business model even in the traditional publishing world – but this seems little high. Tomorrow’s post will be about how authors can maximize their profit – and the things that have the most effect on an author’s profitability -