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Old 08-28-2006, 08:41 PM   #26
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Thank you, Jim, for the life of me I couldn't remember the figure.

PA is making about an 80% profit on each book.
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Old 08-28-2006, 08:51 PM   #27
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Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

Quote:
They think they are better than the rest of us, and that their books should sell in the thousands. The truth is that our books are niche products that often sell fewer than a hundred copies (although some do sell considerably more) and are successful because of the total number of authors, not because one book does extremely well.

Fortunately, we no longer have to read posts by starry-eyed, wannabe authors, who think that their book deserves to become a best-seller.

Better than who? Just because they want their books on actual bookstore shelves, where they have at least A CHANCE at selling thousands, especially when backed by their publisher with their book in cataloges and with reviews in trade publications (or at least submitted for review??!?) I'm not better than anyone, nor has anyone here ever said as much, as far as I can see.

(sarcasm)Yeah, gee, who wants that? Not me.(/sarcasm)

Total number of poorly edited, high-priced books is better than a small number of GOOD books? Tell me the logic in that again? Oh, I see, PA makes all their money because they sap it from more people!

I haven't yet run across an author who doesn't want their book read. Since when is a children's book a 'niche project'??? The sale of children's books is a multi-million dollar industry, not niche!

I agree that there are many PA books that are, in fact, niche books, and probably would do very well with a small or niche publisher; IF they are written well enough.

I don't think many of the PA ship-jumpers had asprirations of literary stardom. They did, however, want to be treated in a proper manner and taken seriously by the rest of the world. You want to settle for PA - be my guest. Just don't drag down people who really want writing careers with you.

It bears repeating. Just because you have written a book does not automatically entitle you to publication. I know it sounds like a snobby, elitist thing to say, but think about it. If you just want a bound copy as a momento, go to Lulu. If you want to be read and respected, learn your craft and work hard, get the notice of someone who really thinks your work doesn't stink. Takes time, takes energy, takes work.
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Old 08-29-2006, 02:59 PM   #28
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I am not naive enough to not know that there are major publishing houses that invest substantial amounts in a very select stable of authors; an author community that represents only one-half of one percent of all writers. I read the literary magazines and read what editors say about how they reject without getting past the first page and in some cases, the first paragraph.
Much the same deal as the select stable of sport's men or women. The talent is recognised and nurtured, and those with the right attitude work hard at further honing their talent. Those that don't make the grade either give up, or continue with their chosen sport as a hobby.

It's called life.
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Old 08-29-2006, 08:54 PM   #29
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From the thread explaining how books get on the bestseller list.

Quote:
Now, keep in mind that these books are not yet PAID for which means the author is not paid.

WRONG! The author (more likely than no) has been paid an advance in the sum of several thousand dollars, based on what the publisher thinks will sell. An advance against royalties - it means that the author HAS INDEED been paid, and anything over the amount that the book does in fact earn will be paid at a later date.

If said book does NOT make the amount of money that has been paid in the advance, the author does NOT have to pay back the difference. That money is his to keep.
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Old 08-29-2006, 10:26 PM   #30
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Question A Slight Interruption

Please excuse me for interrupting this discussion. I have to ask; has anyone on this forum signed with publishing houses such as: Random House, Farrar, Straus and Giroux / NY, G.P. PUTNAM'S SONS / Penguin Group, HarperCollinsPublishers, Bantam Books, etc?

If so, how are they treating you. In addition - can you give us some insight as to their operation, author / customer service, and royalty payments?

Just wondering - as usual.

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Old 08-30-2006, 12:47 AM   #31
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Now, keep in mind that these books are not yet PAID for which means the author is not paid.[/QUOTE]

::reaches for cloth to wipe keyboard and monitor::

I should know better than to have a beverage available when perusing this section of the board.

PA authors: That dollar you got was your advance.
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Old 08-31-2006, 08:04 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by MeowGirl
Published Author Role-Playing Game? Okay, maybe I'm just dense or slow, but I simply don't understand what this is all about. Why would someone go with PA or POD just to "play author" (whatever that means). It's like buying a counterfeit designer purse -- you know it's fake, other people know it's fake, so what's the point? Am I missing something here?

The problem is, MeowGirl, that many PA'ers don't know they're playing this game. That was one of my own issues when I signed with PublishAmerica. It took me roughly a year to realize I had not signed with a legitimate company. So the whole time I played the Published Author Role-Playing Game, I didn't even know I wasn't really an actual published author.

I think a lot of PA'ers have the same issue. They simply do not know yet that they've been had.
 
Old 08-31-2006, 08:52 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySutterer & ArgileStox
Please excuse me for interrupting this discussion. I have to ask; has anyone on this forum signed with publishing houses such as: Random House, Farrar, Straus and Giroux / NY, G.P. PUTNAM'S SONS / Penguin Group, HarperCollinsPublishers, Bantam Books, etc?

If so, how are they treating you. In addition - can you give us some insight as to their operation, author / customer service, and royalty payments?

Just wondering - as usual.

Argile Stox
Of that list I've only been published by HarperCollins. They're a big operation and get books onto bookshelves all over the country.

I have no idea how their customer service is -- I expect that bookstores in general are pretty happy with them. Their relationship with authors: pretty standard. Write a book, work with an editor, it's published. What's to say? Royalty payments are on cover price, paid twice a year (November and May). Rates vary, from 8% to 15%.
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Old 08-31-2006, 09:13 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySutterer & ArgileStox
Please excuse me for interrupting this discussion. I have to ask; has anyone on this forum signed with publishing houses such as: Random House, Farrar, Straus and Giroux / NY, G.P. PUTNAM'S SONS / Penguin Group, HarperCollinsPublishers, Bantam Books, etc?

If so, how are they treating you. In addition - can you give us some insight as to their operation, author / customer service, and royalty payments?

Just wondering - as usual.

Argile Stox
The key thing to understand is that legitimate publishers do not consider their authors to be customers.

Customers are the people who buy the books, not the writers who publish with them.

The author/ publisher relations are conducted through the editor at the imprint or between the editor and the agent.

Regards,

Scott
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Old 09-02-2006, 12:47 AM   #35
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Here's a good one...

Quote:
Jeffery is to be commended. He went against a stacked deck and from what I have read on other sites, more than upheld PA. The radio moderator is vehemently anti-PA, and the other caller as well.


I am not sure there is such a thing as a winner or loser in verbal jousting on a radio broadcast, but Jeff did have in his corner the fact that PA has published near 20,000 authors, and many with multiple books. That is a difficult statistic for any anti-PA person to overcome.
Our friend Carl is at it again. Read that whole passage quite carefully. "Anti-PA". Someone tell me why there aren't "Anti-Random House", "Anti-Tor" or even "Anti-Xlibris" people? Think about it, and ask yourself why, OH WHY, are a whole lot of people against PA?

Carl, the last statment makes no sense. I guess you've never heard the old axiom of "quality vs. quantity." Besides, a goodly number of those 20,000 authors no longer associate themselves with PA, for various reasons.
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Old 09-02-2006, 01:24 AM   #36
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There are anti-XLibris people. Google on Xlibris + scam.
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Old 09-02-2006, 01:25 AM   #37
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Oh, and did the recording of that broadcast ever get posted?
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Old 09-02-2006, 03:01 AM   #38
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Yeah, but is there a never-ending thread about it??
LOL At least Xlibris is honest about the fact they're a pay-to-publish outfit.
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Old 09-06-2006, 01:52 AM   #39
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I'm doubting this will stay long on the PA board:

Quote:
Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 1:25 pm Post subject: something we all need to know

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

With checks in hand, we need to go out there and try harder this time. Don't you agree? but first, check this out. I think it explains everything in black and white and should resolve some issues.

http://www.fonerbooks.com/2005/08/do...y-publish.html
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It may be praising PA but also gives the impression there is bad publicity on PA on the web for those who want to look.

Personally, had I never read a PA book then I would dismiss all this as some authors who have a vendetta against PA for some reason. BUT...having read a book or two, I got the immediate notion that since this book sucked and had numerous errors, the author being an A student in my class, then it must be the publishers fault. I may not be an expert on this in any way, but I have read alot of books and seen how they were written and how the publisher presents them. I have read some bad books but they were written well. I read some crappy stories but they were pretty much error free. I guess what I am saying is...I found out before hand how PA was just by the product they produced, it smelled fishy from the get go.
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Old 09-06-2006, 01:53 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
Oh, and did the recording of that broadcast ever get posted?
Alien Enigma has a copy of it on his site I do believe, although I could not get it to load. He may have a copy he can post here?
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Old 09-06-2006, 11:45 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Christine N.
Here's a good one...



Our friend Carl is at it again. Read that whole passage quite carefully. "Anti-PA". Someone tell me why there aren't "Anti-Random House", "Anti-Tor" or even "Anti-Xlibris" people? Think about it, and ask yourself why, OH WHY, are a whole lot of people against PA?

Carl, the last statment makes no sense. I guess you've never heard the old axiom of "quality vs. quantity." Besides, a goodly number of those 20,000 authors no longer associate themselves with PA, for various reasons.

What amazes me about Carl's post, is that he's focusing on "Anti-PA". Why is this? Could it be that PA has made itself more important in its authors' minds than the authors themselves are? This has always bothered me, even when I was one of their 'fold'. Everything is PA, PA, PA. There is very little spoken about the authors as individual entities.

Carl, if you're reading this, take the time to think about this one fact: you are not pushing your own book half as much as you are pushing the company that is publishing it. Your hard work, both in your book and your marketing work, are being taken advantage of by a company that, IMO, has no vested interest in selling your work to readers. Does this not bother you to some extent? You're the author, and by God, you should be the one profiting from your hard work, not PA. They should be making money from selling your book, themselves, to readers around the world.

But instead, they're selling the majority of their authors' books, to their authors. Don't you find this just a little bit bizarre? When PA says your book is available for purchase in bookstores, answer yourself this question: why do you have to push your book yourself? For crying out loud, Carl, you did the hard work an author is supposed to do in writing and shopping the book around! Must you do all the other work too?

No, you shouldn't be. A writer's job is to write, not market a book. The marketing is the job of a marketing team within the publishing company, as I understand it (someone here please correct me if I'm wrong). If PA is paying you a pittance, it's not because you're not working hard enough. It's because their business model discourages the average reader (bookstores, also) from buying your book.

You can do so much better than PublishAmerica, people. Do as others here have suggested. Write a new, better book, and submit it to legitimate companies that will do their damndest to get your book read and in the process, sold to as many READERS as possible. Publishing is a business, and if you have a book a legitimate company thinks will sell, you'll never know what is possible if you never submit it to a real legitimate publisher or agent.
 
Old 09-06-2006, 06:06 PM   #42
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I wonder if Carl's motive is believing that if he defends PA enough, bookstores might stock his books.
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Old 09-07-2006, 03:10 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadScientistMatt
I wonder if Carl's motive is believing that if he defends PA enough, bookstores might stock his books.
Probably believes as his predecessor did, that if he defends PA enough, PA might actually give a d*** about him.
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Old 09-10-2006, 01:34 AM   #44
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Betty's back, and rambling...

Quote:
Is ignorance bliss? What if I had known how the larger firms market books? What if I had known the relationship of the acquisition editor to the book and how those editors I mailed to must look beyond the pure editing process, and must consider if the book is good for their firm--the firm's list. What if I had known about publishing salespeople and marketers--those who sell books to bookstore chains--whose operating guide is how do we get more books like the bestsellers of last season? What recent bestsellers can we compare this book to?

What if I had been aware that the publishing industry, which produces in excess of 50,000 new titles annually and seems to imitate the role of the motion picture industry with the perpetual quest for the blockbusters that have failed? An industry that will publish any inane personality with a smidgen of celebrity, seeming not to understand they are publishing hardcover magazines. Would I have written the same book? It's difficult to know.

Did the foggy bottom of the publishing industry cause me to choose the path of least resistance, and by choosing the path of least resistance (Publish America), how much did that influence the writing? Did I give my best? Did Publish America publish my best effort? (I'm reminded of the sage who suddenly became aware that sinners wrote the Bible: how else would they know.).

Looking back, I now see that the book was not the best it could have been, not if I had sought outside scrutiny, research and advice. I came up against the barrier of good writing and chose not to break it. I took the path of least resistance, chose not to break from my comfortable circle, and did not write for the ages, but for a specific date in someone's cornfield. Maybe next time.
Maybe it's the sinus headache that's jabbing the left side of my brain, but this post (I snipped it) kind of went in circles. Is Carl saying he realizes he took the easy route? Is he regretting his decision to not do the homework?

I really want someone to tell me what this means, 'cause my head hurts too much to think about it.

Then we get this in reply..

Quote:
Betty the question is not "Why are we here?" It is: "How did we ever get published?"....
The better question is "why are you so badly published?" How did PA get its claws into you? That's always my question, because I find the answers fascinating. I was misled, they answered first and no one else would take the book are the three I usually see, but I'm always interested.


Quote:
Take your brilliant analysis about the process of publishing and getting published (the "line of least resistance" as you put it) and also think of it this way. A writer bangs his head for months and years trying in vain to get his manuscript read, looked at or responded to. All most writers gets is a card that says: "Sorry your work is not what we are looking for..." Or..."Sorry our agency does not have time to read your work. We are fully subscribed."
Oh, you mean he does what every other writer in the business does? He submits and submits and either gets an agent or publisher OR figures out he needs to write a better book? NO way!


Quote:
And on it on it goes, until you get a letter from this new, outrageous publisher, Publish America, " We love your work. It needs to be published."
You and everyone else who submitted that day until the quota is filled.


Quote:
And there you are, a published author along side the biggest and most powerful publishers in the world.
I don't even know what to say about this. There are no words. Maybe Jim has some.


Quote:
Writing is a roll of the dice, to say the least.
Now this is right on the money. It IS a subjective business - and YOU have to understand that when you submit. Maybe you caught the editor on a bad day, or they weren't particularly in tune with your work. So you send again and again until you do find someone who does like it.

I'm pretty tired of this attitude that someone's written a book, for fun maybe, and decided that the rest of it is too much work, that they want it NOW. It really irritates me, because I take the business seriously. I did the homework, I got the critiques, I did the rewrites, I sent the submissions and collected the rejection slips. I listen when agents give me feedback, even when they say no because they just didn't love it. I've read submissions I just don't love, even though they're well written. Get off your butts and do it right, or go home. Maybe I'm being an 'elitist snob' - at this point I don't much care.

If your work isn't up to snuff, a) work on it until it is, using all the channels available to find out how to make it better, b) write a better book (which most writers do anyway) or c) decide you don't have what it takes to be a writer and just write for your own amusement. Nothing wrong with that. Don't blame the agents and publishers because your book isn't what they think will sell. That's their business and their business is to know what will sell. To MAKE MONEY by selling BOOKS. That's the reality, get over it.

PA is NOT giving anyone a chance, only taking them away.



Quote:
You, Betty, and all of us at Publish America have come up with 7s and 11s on the first roll. Take it as far as you can and enjoy the "line of least resistance"...My thoughts on this nice day...
More like aces and eights in cards - deadman's hand.

If I'm being too snarky, someone stop me, but this sense of entitlement to have your words published because you've put them on a page is tiresome. And the two or three authors who continually beat the 'publishers and agents don't get my work' horse are annoying.

I have sympathy for every PA author who was taken, believing they were the real deal. I will do everything I personally can to help those who want it.

My sympathy for those who make excuses is wearing thin.
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Old 09-10-2006, 01:57 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Christine N.
If I'm being too snarky, someone stop me, but this sense of entitlement to have your words published because you've put them on a page is tiresome. And the two or three authors who continually beat the 'publishers and agents don't get my work' horse are annoying.
I think part of the sense of entitlement could come in part from a commercial I used to watch, from, I believe it was Xerox Company. It showed a college professor giving a lecture on publishing. The first words in the commercial were, "Of course everybody has the RIGHT to be published, but the odds are against you."

At least in my own case, those words stuck in my mind for quite some time. Ironically, if I'm not mistaken, the commercial had to do with digital printing technology, which, of course, is the technology used in the POD business model.

Am I blaming Xerox for this sense of entitlement? No, I'm not. I'm simply stating that there is a popular misconception that everyone has the right to be published. That, I think, is where many PA'ers (I know I was like this for a long time) get their sense of entitlement.

I honestly believe it's nothing more than a misconception, brought about by popular belief.


And are you being too snarky? Personally, I don't think you're any bit snarkier than you ever were before. If it gets too bad, I'm sure someone will tell you.

 
Old 09-10-2006, 02:32 AM   #46
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Gee, thanks Sean. LOL.

I can understand where it comes from. I really can. It's that 'what do you MEAN my words aren't golden?" syndrome. I had it once. But never did I assume that my first book was ever good enough to be published. Which was why I joined Critters, and found a wonderful mentor there named David, I think his name was, who was kind enough to go through my mess and help me sort it all out.

I STILL wasn't sure - so I submitted. I racked up the rejections. When my publisher made me an offer, I was really excited. Just like I'm sure PA authors are. BUT, I researched every single agent and publisher I submitted to. Critically.

Most writers I know have doubts about their work. Even the multi-published ones. All the time. And in all the submissions I've ever rejected, only ONE has ever come back with a snarky reply. The rest, of those that replied at all, were all very gracious.

I liken some of the PA poster's attitudes to the person who looks at Michelangelo's David and says "I could do that". Then goes to Home Depot for a block of marble and a chisel. Sure, some may have innate talent, but without training and practice, you're not gonna get a masterpiece. Then they blame the art world that no one will give them a chance.

And of course I mean 'you' in the global sense of the word. If my second book wasn't as good or better than my first, I would expect my publisher to reject it. I also would expect a rejection if my book wasn't selling well. Again, publishers are not not-for-profit (is that a double negative?); they are a business and want to make money, to sell books.

ETA: I don't want this to sound the way it's coming out. I'm not any wonderful, all-knowing publishing guru. I have a trunk novel somewhere too. I just was able to recognize it for the crap it was. And that's kind of my point. Most writers junk their first books.
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Old 09-10-2006, 02:47 AM   #47
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I'm a quoting maniac today, aren't I? There's just so much good stuff!

Quote:
[It has been my experience that getting a good agent is harder than finding a good publisher. Beware also, because there seems to be a lot of shysters out there these days. Just as you should never pay a publisher any up front money, never send any money to anyone claiming to be an agent.
The irony is deafening.


Quote:
It appears to me that all of the better agents these days don't want to be approached by authors. Instead they chase only authors with proven track records and try to undermine each other. Today they are more like sports agents than the literary agents of yesterday.
The misinformation abounds. You're not looking in the right places. Yes, some agents have full lists, are concentrating on selling the current clients' work, and some only take submissions by referral, but there are litereally hundreds of agents out there, looking for NEW authors. Not already published, not proven sellers, but new. First-time authors are published every day. All the time. Agents even represent a few of them.

Poaching clients from one another, well, most agents I've spoken with think that's just not right, and would never stoop to that practice. It's more than frowned upon. Agents and authors do part ways, it happens when one or both parties just feel the job's not getting done. The author looks for a new agent.

Just trying to help.
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Old 09-10-2006, 04:30 AM   #48
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Quote:
Quote:
And there you are, a published author along side the biggest and most powerful publishers in the world.
I don't even know what to say about this. There are no words. Maybe Jim has some.
No, dude, you aren't "alongside" anyone. When I look at my books in the bookstore, when I look to the right and to the left of my book, I don't see a PA book on the shelf beside them. I don't worry about your "competition" because you aren't competing. You didn't even get to the start line.

That's the sad thing. Somewhere between 200 and 2,000 PA books are probably good enough that they could have been contenders.
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Old 09-10-2006, 07:23 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christine N.
The misinformation abounds. You're not looking in the right places. Yes, some agents have full lists, are concentrating on selling the current clients' work, and some only take submissions by referral, but there are litereally hundreds of agents out there, looking for NEW authors. Not already published, not proven sellers, but new. First-time authors are published every day. All the time. Agents even represent a few of them.


Just trying to help.
On that same thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by PAMB
Maybe there are honest agents out there, if you look, maybe you'll find one. But as for me, I don't know what they can do that I can't do myself.
Emphasis mine. Doesn't that just sum up the PA authors?
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Old 09-10-2006, 07:26 PM   #50
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Based upon stats from my royalty checks, books I've bought and sold myself, and those that I know B&N stores have bought (as told to me by customer relations managers), I've sold a little over 1,000 books in my first year.

But, I can tell you, marketing has been costly. So, the gap between royalties and sales on the plus side and costs on the other, the gap is still sizable. To break even, I'd have to sell, probably, about 4,000 books.

Still lots of work to be done...
Sometimes all the work will sell your books but it doesn't cover what you paid for the initial marketing.
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