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Old 08-06-2014, 04:54 PM   #301
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In fact, if 40 sales are typical of its books, then most people would be better off self publishing.
If 40 sales are typical, how much longer could Zharmae continue to put out new books? Even with the royalty system the outlined in the contract, there still isn't enough money to keep the lights on.
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:23 PM   #302
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If a publisher isn't making money from the books it publishes it has a few choices.

1) Go out of business.

2) Publish better books, better.

3) Find other ways of generating cash.

Lots of new publishers take option one. Very few startups manage to achieve option two. Quite a few go for option three, and ask their authors to contribute to their own publication, thus transforming the publisher into a vanity press.

Incidentally, I just saw this on Zharmae's website:

Quote:
Zharmae actively reviews work submitted through Bowker Manuscript Services. The benefit to you, the writer, is that there are many wonderful publishers also reviewing the work submitted on this website. You have a greater chance of having your work acquired by using this service. You may submit your work on BMS and alert us to your submission there. To use their manuscript service please go to www.bowkermanuscriptsubmissions.com. This is, however, not our primary means of reviewing work.
Writer Beware has discussed Bowker Manuscript Services:

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Bowker (yes, that Bowker) has just launched its own submission service, Bowker Manuscript Submissions (BMS for short). BMS allows authors to upload book proposals into a database, which publishers can search according to their needs and interests, and contact authors directly if they want to read more. Cost to authors: $99 for six months. Membership is free for trade publishers. POD services and vanity publishers must pay a subscription fee.

Hold up a moment. POD services and vanity publishers? Why would authors need a submission service to contact fee-based publishers, which have no barriers to entry? Why would a submission service allow fee-based publishers to troll its database? Authors who use BMS can choose not to be contacted by fee-based publishers--but still.

The answer is twofold. First, BMS isn't a service for writers; it's a service for publishers. The verbiage on BMS's website makes this abundantly clear: "BowkerManuscriptSubmissions.com was initiated as a cooperative effort between Bowker and the Publishing community for Publishers looking for new authors and desiring an efficient way to discover and evaluate new manuscripts." So why not include fee-based publishers? After all, they need manuscripts too.

We have a thread about it at AW too.


I just asked a few of my agent-friends if they use it: they all said no, because they get so many submissions via their usual routes they don't need to go looking anywhere else for new writers.
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:57 PM   #303
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I've asked a couple of agents and editors (about Bowker, back when that thread started) and they say they don't use the Bowker manuscript 'service'. They get more than enough submissions as it is. Moreover, even though I couldn't get anyone to say in quotable form, I got the strong impression they thought less of authors who used for-pay manuscript and query services.
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Old 08-06-2014, 07:34 PM   #304
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Zharmae actively reviews work submitted through Bowker Manuscript Services.
I'd love to hear how, considering the BMS site is gone (last cached 8/13), as are its info pages on Bowker's UK and AU sites. (And its FB page and Twitter feed, for the sake of completeness.)

(And, yes, I'm in the course of updating the Other section. Notetaking should wrap up this weekend. )
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:16 PM   #305
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Yeah, it's been a while since I asked my contacts.
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:54 AM   #306
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I don't think 40 books is typical. They just posted to Facebook today about one author's book being in the 4,000s on the Amazon best seller ranking. It's most likely just that I don't have any sort of following at this point and they're probably putting the time and energy into authors who actually had followings to begin with.

And, yes, I do know that it's not my job to sell my book. As the author, it's not my specialty. I'm betting that most books sell better than mine, though.
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Old 08-08-2014, 12:43 PM   #307
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Originally Posted by folclor View Post
I don't think 40 books is typical. They just posted to Facebook today about one author's book being in the 4,000s on the Amazon best seller ranking. It's most likely just that I don't have any sort of following at this point and they're probably putting the time and energy into authors who actually had followings to begin with.

And, yes, I do know that it's not my job to sell my book. As the author, it's not my specialty. I'm betting that most books sell better than mine, though.
Being in the 4,000s in Amazon's rankings doesn't suggest that a book has sold more than 40 copies: it suggests that 4,000 or so more books have recently sold more copies than it.

What best-seller list was that on? You might find it's a small sub-list, in which case that ranking is nothing impressive.
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Old 08-08-2014, 03:05 PM   #308
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Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
Being in the 4,000s in Amazon's rankings doesn't suggest that a book has sold more than 40 copies: it suggests that 4,000 or so more books have recently sold more copies than it.

What best-seller list was that on? You might find it's a small sub-list, in which case that ranking is nothing impressive.

If it's 4,000 or so in the entire Kindle store, it's probably sold about 35-50 copies in the last 24-36 hours. Of course, that can go up or down depending on the entire sales volume, but it doesn't usually vary too widely. We've tracked sales on dozens of books, and the numbers are pretty reliable.

The thing that changes most often is how high you need to be ranked to get on the category top 100 lists. That can vary a ton from week to week, and it will tend to vary at least a little from hour to hour. We used to be able to get on on the top 100 erotica list with a rank around 3700 in the entire Kindle store (which took about 40 sales). Now it's usually closer to 3000 overall before you hit #100 in erotica. It's the same with other popular categories. Stiff competition.

You're right about the sub-lists. Some really niche sub-lists don't have much competition, and a book can be in the top 100 for a niche category while ranked 100 or 200k overall. It's important to look carefully at the list before being very impressed.
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:35 PM   #309
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Originally Posted by folclor View Post
I don't think 40 books is typical. They just posted to Facebook today about one author's book being in the 4,000s on the Amazon best seller ranking. It's most likely just that I don't have any sort of following at this point and they're probably putting the time and energy into authors who actually had followings to begin with.

And, yes, I do know that it's not my job to sell my book. As the author, it's not my specialty. I'm betting that most books sell better than mine, though.
Well good luck, and I hope your book sales are just gathering speed. I read the start of your book and while my editor goggles caught lots of tiny slip-ups, my reader goggles saw a great pulp adventure. Like a manga version of a Colin Wilson yarn about spider worlds or space vampires. Sorry, that's the closest I can get--I don't read urban fantasy usually
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Last edited by dondomat; 08-08-2014 at 07:48 PM.
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