Author Topic: ARTICLE: How Do You Even Sell a Book Anymore?  (Read 478 times)

German Translator

ARTICLE: How Do You Even Sell a Book Anymore?
« on: December 22, 2023, 12:39:52 PM »
https://thewalrus.ca/how-do-you-even-sell-a-book-anymore/
How Do You Even Sell a Book Anymore?
As sales slump, the labour of trying to bottle hype is largely left to writers

Quote
Kristen McLean, an analyst at NPD BookScan, the industry-standard platform that tracks book sales in the United States, provided a more accurate data set in response to a newsletter by novelist Lincoln Michel, who was also rightly suspicious of the stat. McLean’s figures suggested that, of the new books published in the preceding calendar year, about 15 percent sold under twelve copies; 51.4 percent of books, meanwhile, sold between a dozen and 999 units. Neither of those figures is as alarming as the original claim. But nor are they especially encouraging. Sales are indeed down. According to an early-October report in Publishers Weekly, the first nine months of 2023 saw print book sales drop 4.1 percent compared to the same period in 2022. Reports from the preceding weeks had the Eeyore-ish titles “Print Book Sales Fell Again Last Week” and “Print Book Sales Improved Last Week, but Still Fell 4%.” In Canada, the drop is more pronounced: BookNet reported in August that print sales for the English-language trade market were down 12 percent in the first half of 2023 as compared to the same six months the previous year.

Just a few of the books I have translated (English <-> German)
 

LilyBLily

Re: ARTICLE: How Do You Even Sell a Book Anymore?
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2023, 07:24:10 AM »
Decent article, but trends in print book sales are irrelevant to ebook sales. So are trends in trade book sales, in my opinion.
Our markets do overlap here and there, but mostly they are separate.

The only interesting statistic in the article--and I'm not convinced it's accurate--is that some trade print books may sell under a dozen copies. Amazing, and this despite mass publication and distribution to bookstores nationwide. Although...do they really get nationwide distribution? Does Big Publisher A send two copies each to 500 bookstores and do nothing to support the title? Or does it send 20 copies each to five bookstores and let the rest of the 1,000 copies it printed sit in a warehouse until purchased by a remainder company for sale in the same bookstores next year for a rock-bottom price? Perhaps. 

Regardless, I'm not in that game. My one nonfiction title sells continuously in the print version in wide markets. My fiction sells almost exclusively in ebook, both the books that are wide and the ones that are in KU. I have print versions available for all but my "box sets," but genre readers prefer the much more disposable ebook format.

So, do I care about the sad story of trade print books? Well, I do feel sorry for authors who have signed away the substantial portion of their rights to a big company that does little or nothing to sell their books. It's all on the authors. I hope they're happy being Officially Recognized REAL Authors. 
 

idontknowyet

Re: ARTICLE: How Do You Even Sell a Book Anymore?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2024, 01:08:36 PM »
Making sales isn't the issue. The challenge is figuring out to have a positive POI.
Anyone can sell a book if they throw enough money at it.

Paperbacks are becoming a huge trend thanks to TIKTOK.
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: ARTICLE: How Do You Even Sell a Book Anymore?
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2024, 02:00:43 PM »
Quote
According to an early-October report in Publishers Weekly, the first nine months of 2023 saw print book sales drop 4.1 percent compared to the same period in 2022.

Did anyone ask what eBook sales did at the same time?

Was the drop in print books offset by a rise in eBook sales?

Just curious.  :icon_think: :shrug
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LBL

Re: ARTICLE: How Do You Even Sell a Book Anymore?
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2024, 03:23:47 AM »
Don't listen to a Canadian publication like 'The Walrus'.

They're a trad mouthpiece also on the dole from the federal government, the latter of which is entirely captured by legacy corporations (even more so than anyone could claim about the U.S., which is saying something), including traditional publishers as well as big trad bookseller Indigo/Chapters; therefore they have little interest in fronting anything that could be construed as remotely positive about 'Zon/KDP, and certainly have no interest in what/how indie publishers are doing. As far as the hipsters at The Walrus are concerned self-publishing isn't a thing, so their ebook sales figures don't count.

Wouldn't even be surprised if they considered the idea of "self-publishing" (which I picture them uttering with a sneer) as being something belonging to 'the far right'.
 
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Jeff Tanyard

Re: ARTICLE: How Do You Even Sell a Book Anymore?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2024, 02:02:15 PM »
Pretty sure I'd never heard of The Walrus before, so thanks to LBL for the explanation.   :cheers
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