Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Figures on Book Sales

Peter Kafka has done an excellent article about total book industry sales and their breakdown. Here is the link to that article -

From the article, total trade fiction sales are approximately $13.5, in which about $2.7 billion of that figure is from ebooks. According to a survey by BookStats, those ebook sales have doubled from the previous year.

This is very encouraging for those novelists who want to self publish. But bear in mind that this $2.7 billion sales figure also includes ebook sales from publishers like Doubleday. My own guess would be that the percentage of those sales would be 50% or more.

So there's certainly hope for those fiction writers that self publish. Heck, I have three novels on Amazon myself. ( If you're interested you can check on their links further down. )

But it also makes fatuous the claims of people like Joe Konrath that the publishing industry is trying to discredit him by stealth. Actually, they could probably care less about him, especially after his deal with Ace books seems to have been a fiasco for both sides.

This "conspiracy" theory has been especially championed by someone named P.S. Power. His / her bio page on Amazon claims they  came from another reality and replaced a wizard. Is this person serious? I don't know. He / she is unclear. It sort of reminds me of this lady publishing editor who dealt with me. She claimed to sleep with Charlie Chaplin every night, thirty years after he was dead.

Anyhow, his / her latest rant is that anyone who disagrees with Konrath, must be a publisher in disguise, because publishers are afraid Konrath will put them out of business. Earlier, Power claimed I had delusions because I thought Konrath was a mediocre writer.

It's hilarious as long as you don't get in a conversation with these "characters". It's like arguing with a barroom drunk. You'll never be the winner.

I do hope good writers who self publish are a success. Heck I'd like my own  self published stuff  to be a success. If you can get through the braggadocio bathos, Konrath has some interesting points to make about his own experience and observations.

He can also be pretty funny unintentionally. According to him, he spent most ( all? ) of the money he earned  from book publishers travelling around the country promoting his novels. It even gets funnier when you have some established writers screaming he's a "cancer" because they're afraid their publishers are going to insist they do the same thing. Actually, more agents and publishers are  insisting on this. I'm even having the same problem myself with these three ebooks for sale. So maybe it's not funny after all. At least from a personal standpoint. ( Just look at the bottom of this article to see what I mean. )

There's loads of things wrong with the publishing industry. Not the least of which is, that it's who you know, not how good you are. It's like that in all media business. Much worse in the movies.

In the future, I might have more to say about that.

Best of luck to all the good writers out there.

                                                                                                               Joseph Day, Author

                                                                                                        ( Okay R. Are you happy now? Like                                    
                                                                                                           you constantly insist, I've signed my
                                                                                                            name. As if anyone doesn't already
                                                                                                            know my name on this blog. )


  1. I think we all need a little luck. On the subject of Konrath it can't be denied that he's built a strong following. There are far better writers out there who have yet to build even a fraction of Konrath's following but given time I think they will do it.

  2. Thanks Gary

    Keep in mind that he's had 10+ years to promote himself. According to him, it was a backbreaking, nonstop effort.

    So in a sense you have to wonder why he's not more "successful". Particularly with his Ace deal. Really, people didn't want to buy the paperback because the price was too high???

    Maybe a lot of his book sales are for the same reason people watch Ed Wood films. Ed was considered one of the worst movie makers in the business. People don't watch the films for the art of cinema, but because the guy's so ludicrous. Maybe it's the same with Konrath. Reminds me of the movie Snakes on a Plane. After the promotion, you just had to see the film, even if it was a waste of money

    As for terrible movie makers, there's a guy out there that may be replacing Ed Wood. Recently saw his storyboard. Better if I don't say anything else.