Posts Tagged 'publishing'

Publishing mysteries

Having only just brought out my first book (not, I hope, my last), I find myself totally baffled by the publishing industry. When the book went to press, I agreed, in consultation with Authors Online, to a retail price of £7.99. My own return, on that price, is a little over £1 per copy (unless I buy copies myself at around £4.20 and flog them direct).

In due course the title appeared on Amazon, at the full list price. After two or three weeks, however, it was offered at £7.59 – a 5% discount. Fair enough; but, on the same page, is a note saying “11 used and new from £3.58”.  When I click on this I find a list of eleven sellers offering my book, new, at prices ranging from £3.58 to £9.30.

How, I ask myself, is anyone going to make a worthwhile profit at £3.58? And who, in their right mind, is going buy a book for £9.30 when, on the same page, it is advertised at £7.59, or even less?

Can anyone explain this? Or is it all a cyber-fantasy, in which nobody is actually buying or selling anything?

For a few days, Amazon had my book ranked as ‘#4 best-seller’ in the Biography – Dancers category. This seemed rather thrilling; but did  it mean anything? Or did it just imply that no other books in the category were selling at that time?

If any wiser head than mine can explain all this, I will be grateful.

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Getting feedback

It’s just a month since my book was born (the gestation was somewhat longer) and at last I am getting some feedback. People have actually read it, which in itself is gratifying, and the reactions – from those who take the trouble to contact me, at least – are favourable.  “A fascinating story, and one that you tell well.“You write with clarity and economy.” All very pleasing to the ego; but I must guard against getting smug and complacent. I dare say there will be those who are less enthusiastic, or even downright disappointed. As with any book, so much depends on people’s expectations.

A further test will come in a couple of weeks, when I give my first talk to a local book-group; twelve ladies (yes, they are all ladies) who will no doubt have firm opinions and will expect me to account for what I wrote, and how I wrote it. That might be a chastening experience!

Looking up . . .

Feeling brighter today. A copy of my book (at present the only copy in the world, I think) arrived in the post, so I can actually believe in its existence at last. (More copies are being printed as I write). And today a local paper rang up and asked for an interview. Another confirmed that they are running the story as written in my press release. Many friends have written, promising to buy a copy. So perhaps I was despondent too soon.

Had a discussion on religion today – with a friend of whom I am very fond, though we are at opposite poles. She examines everything from a position of Belief, and will bend whatever she hears or reads to make it conform with that belief. I start from a position of Scepticism, based on a suspicion that Man created God in his own image rather than the other way round. Still, I try to keep an open mind, and I enjoy our debates.

Enough philosophy for today, I think.