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Newguy1428
07-28-2009, 05:59 AM
Hi. I am off to the bookstore but, I am curious to know where the best place is to get the facts on POD, Epubs, and self pub industries. I am making a website and have gotten very far in writing my business plan. Hurray!

Facts and figures are hard to find. They get muddled in with traditional publishing industry figures.

How many self-pub, pod and epub books were sold in the usa and the world in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008? How much revenue did the industry create? I bet it isn't hard to proove that the industry can handle some increased sales. If every self-published author sold 100 more books would the industry grind to a halt or would it evolve?

Help me out. I'm a good guy with a great solution to a big problem. I have four POD's making zero sales.

veinglory
07-28-2009, 06:42 AM
I think you a mooshing together a lot of issues here. Epublishing probably accounts for about 1-2% of books sold but most of those would not be self-published. There are no complete data sets for any of this, it simply isn;t collected--but there are some ways to arrive at good estimates.

Newguy1428
07-28-2009, 07:22 AM
Mooshing? I have never been called a 'moosher':)

Hey, I think I found my angle. I am looking for book titles published rather than how many copies. It would be nice to know how much money they made.

I guess I am mooshing them together into 'on-demand' publishing.

veinglory
07-28-2009, 06:12 PM
Well it was declared by Publishers Weekly that this was the first year with more POD titles than conventional offset. However as the average offset print run started at 5000 copies, and the average self-POD sales languish down below 50 copies....

Artphotos
07-28-2009, 07:40 PM
I'm a bit confused about your business plan. I'm not sure facts about other book sales are the best way to increase sales of your books. My business plan was:

1. I had an idea that fit my talents and work I had already done.

2. I did a market analysis to see what demand there might be, what competition if any might exist and what distribution system there might be.

3. I investigated printing options.

4. At the same time I began to gather the information needed for my project.

5. I put the book together to meet the necessary specifications required by the printer.

6. Proof, edit, repeat. (including getting someone else to edit)

7. Distribute and sell.

Many of these steps overlapped and had to be continually reevaluated.

I believe people buy books based on content, price, availability and how these relate to other options available to them. I think one needs to keep all these things in mind through out all the steps of making and selling your book.

The most productive use of websites I've seen to promote self published books are what I might call teaser sites. They give good, useful information that draws people to the site, but leave the reader wanting more and of course that something more is the author's book.

Newguy1428
07-28-2009, 08:14 PM
My business plan is strong up until the facts and figures. I am going about it old school. I found a need, identified the problem, came up with a solution...and all that. Many business people scoff at the idea of writing this stuff down and they end up regretting it later.

I am a little confused on the numbers that I find on the web. Lulu reports that it sold 400,000 titles in the last year but no one else supports the claim. In contrast, the traditional publishers published @ 250,000 titles together.

One of the strongest selling points is that Lulu doubles its sales every year. When will it stop? They are going bricks and mortar now with a deal to put kiosks in Borders. It sounds like it will flop, will people write their books there? But, they'll get credit and exposure for trying.

Oh well, you cannot raise good money with out good figures. I have to go to the library on this one, I've been told that behind every good book is a reference librarian.

veinglory
07-28-2009, 08:17 PM
Lulu sells in the range of 10-40 copies of each of their titles in any given year. They openly pursue adding more authors, not selling their books. Their profit model means they can stay in business and in the black even if average sales are single digit. Their methods for selling books to customers are archiac, limited and flawed. And I say that as one of their customers, not one of the authors. Buying books from them is frustrating and difficult.

GraysonMoran
07-28-2009, 10:09 PM
Lulu makes no attempt to sell books at all, I would say. That really isn't their line of work. They are "author-side", they produce books.

suki
07-28-2009, 10:16 PM
Oh well, you cannot raise good money with out good figures. I have to go to the library on this one, I've been told that behind every good book is a reference librarian.

I'm confused...are you going to seek investors? In a new micropress or something else?

~suki

Newguy1428
07-29-2009, 02:31 AM
As far as I can tell, I am in a new field. I am making my website is all I want to say right now. The specifics will change. I had a greeting cards business years ago and like all businesses you need a plan and you need to consider multiple avenues of startup money. There are investors out there who will help you start your business and they're not out to take advantage of you. They will give you seed money that your business pays back as you go. Then when you get to the next level you may consider more funding or not. A great place to get an idea of what goes into starting a business can be found at http://www.sequoiacap.com/. Check out the business plan format. They are kind of like Lulu for business, except they will give you money, if you have a solid plan.

I don't know everything about it yet, but whether I can start this by myself or accept partnerships and funding, the business plan is the most important thing to work on in the beginning. Most people who self publish, don't do the numbers or collect facts and figures. They never consider an amazing range of opportunities. When they meet someone at a cocktail party who can help them, they can't offer a vision statement or the purpose of their business. They might as well spend their time in writing classes, writing groups and go the traditional publishing route.

You need to go through all of the higher intellectual level considerations first, like what is the purpose of your company? Is it entertainment? Is there a charitable cause? Is it strictly producing books or are there other streams of revenue? Most artists and writers, I do both, just jump in willy nilly. Where will your business be in 1, 3, 5 and 10 years? What if there is someone who can handle the business aspects better than you? I am sure that most writers and artists would desire some help with figuring out the finances, but how much help and when will you need it? Will you need an IT staff for your website? Will you be able to get by using consultants or will you consider a full-time staff?

Jim Davis, creator of Garfield was a business/art major in college. Garfield is the most published comic strip in the history of the world, appearing in over 2500 papers daily at one time, and 95% of the income came from merchandizing. Most writers will never consider that level of output but, there may be some level close to that or higher which you may want to consider...i.e. JK Rowling?

I wish I could give you more clues as to what I am doing, your questions and answers have helped me very much. My best work, whether it's writing, illustration, teaching or business happens when I consider all of the opportunities and respectfully offer a service. From what I can tell, Publish America and others like that don't have the respect part. In many ways Lulu does. The world need more small publishers, but that isn't exactly what I have in mind right now.

Of course, the more I study print on demand it reminds me of the slush pile. I am sure there are plenty of authors who don't stick it out long enough to go the traditional route. Maybe they couldn't find the right publisher? Maybe they just need to survive? I have no qualms with anyone starting a new publishing business that offers print on demand just like Lulu. I think everyone can make a contribution. As big as Lulu is, someone who offers a better product can bump them aside.

So the question is where can I find facts on POD and epublishing? Lulu isn't very helpful because they claim to have published 400,000 titles last year, but the articles I have found report lower numbers. The best figures I have found so far is for BN, borders and Amazon. I think its because they are public companies?

Sheryl Nantus
07-29-2009, 03:08 AM
it sounds to me like you're going at this sort of bass-ackwards, from what you've posted.

you wrote the books, THEN started to figure out how you were going to market it.

maybe you should put some links in here to your books so we can see what you're dealing with - that would probably help you get more accurate suggestions.

just a thought.

Newguy1428
07-29-2009, 03:23 AM
My apologies Sheryl

Thank you. I'm sorry. I think I have confused two of my threads here. This one is on POD and epublishing industry facts.

I'll edit my post above.

I think I'll have to go to the library for this one, like I wrote earlier.

suki
07-29-2009, 05:24 AM
As far as I can tell, I am in a new field. I am making my website is all I want to say right now. The specifics will change. I had a greeting cards business years ago and like all businesses you need a plan and you need to consider multiple avenues of startup money. There are investors out there who will help you start your business and they're not out to take advantage of you. They will give you seed money that your business pays back as you go. Then when you get to the next level you may consider more funding or not. ....

Um, ok. None of the concepts or issues you have addressed are new to me. I was just trying to figure out what you were going for, so that I might offer more specific info. on how you might find what you are looking for. But I'll leave you to it with a wish of good luck.

~suki

MickRooney
07-29-2009, 01:49 PM
I'm confused...are you going to seek investors? In a new micropress or something else?

~suki

You're not the only one suki. We're up to 13 or more postings on this thread and I don't think anyone's the wiser as to where the thread is going or exactly and concisely what it is NewGuy1428 is asking for; new business start up using POD, how to market his POD books...or what?

For someone looking at a 'start up' business and trying to get strategies and ideas across, certainly here in this forum - this doesn't bode well!

Nandi
07-29-2009, 05:18 PM
I thought it was just me who couldn't understand all this.

I don't mean to sound cruel, but with so many posts that are confusing and, frankly, incoherent, it's hard to see how this person will be able to formulate a business plan that works.

GraysonMoran
07-29-2009, 05:45 PM
I'd suggest falling back on a proven Mickey Rooney business plan... Hey, Kids! Let's put on a show!

Newguy1428
07-30-2009, 08:04 PM
Again. I apologize for the confusion. Let's try this again.

There are thousands of authors who do not get published the traditional way. (Faults of their own and faults of the system).

Lulu and others take advantage of this by offering POD, Epubs...( the books are mostly ready for publication/ will never be ready for publication). Presently, these books languish in obscurity.

What's in between? (the listed ideas for getting the word out on my book won't compete with the established distribution system...traditional publishing)

I have an anwer, a solution. I'm not sharing it yet. Has somebody thought of it yet? By everyone's confusion, the answer is no.

Thank you.

YAwriter72
07-30-2009, 08:11 PM
Again. I apologize for the confusion. Let's try this again.

There are thousands of authors who do not get published the traditional way. (Faults of their own and faults of the system).

Lulu and others take advantage of this by offering POD, Epubs...( the books are mostly ready for publication/ will never be ready for publication). Presently, these books languish in obscurity.

What's in between? (the listed ideas for getting the word out on my book won't compete with the established distribution system...traditional publishing)

I have an anwer, a solution. I'm not sharing it yet. Has somebody thought of it yet? By everyone's confusion, the answer is no.

Thank you.

FTR POD and epubs are not even close. There are several very legitimate epubs out there who are not "taking advantage" and put a hell of a lot of effort into editing a book before it sees the light of day. You might want to seperate the two. (And some epubs take the book to print also)

veinglory
07-30-2009, 09:17 PM
FTR POD and epubs are not even close.

This.

I think you need a better idea of what currently exists before trying to fill the gaps.

There is self-publishing

There is the ebook format; there is digital printing

Publishing model and format choice are completely different things. Large commercial presses use offset, digital printing and ebook formats. So do self-publishers. Format is a strategic choice within both business models and any models that are intermediate and/or hybrid.

The small press areas is, even in this economy, busy and inventive. Somebody is having a crack at pretty much every variation and option. That is one of the things I love about the self- and small press communities.

suki
07-30-2009, 09:53 PM
Again. I apologize for the confusion. Let's try this again.

There are thousands of authors who do not get published the traditional way. (Faults of their own and faults of the system).

Lulu and others take advantage of this by offering POD, Epubs...( the books are mostly ready for publication/ will never be ready for publication). Presently, these books languish in obscurity.

What's in between? (the listed ideas for getting the word out on my book won't compete with the established distribution system...traditional publishing)

I have an anwer, a solution. I'm not sharing it yet. Has somebody thought of it yet? By everyone's confusion, the answer is no.

Thank you.

I can't figure out if you are looking at something to help market books or some "new way" to "publish" books in some format...but either way, there are loads of both out there already.

I suggest you research the market further by looking into what is available in book publishing and marketing - ie:
- epubs
- small presses
- micro presses
- cooperatives
- marketing firms/persons
- marketing coaches
- techno coaches
- event planners
- PR people
etc...

Any could be what you are thinking, so I'll leave it to you to figure out.

But from your posts it apears your knowledge of the industry is very shallow. Before spending lots of time with data, research the inductry.

regardless, good luck.

~suki

GraysonMoran
07-30-2009, 11:16 PM
I have an anwer, a solution. I'm not sharing it yet. Has somebody thought of it yet?

I thought of it right off, but was waiting to see if you would come up with it.

Newguy1428
07-31-2009, 01:38 AM
THANK YOU ALL FOR THE INPUT.

MickRooney
07-31-2009, 02:08 AM
Woh!

I hope everybody's head has stopped spinning in the house! :flag:

Nandi
07-31-2009, 03:09 AM
Woh!

I hope everybody's head has stopped spinning in the house! :flag:

Nope. Still swirling, Mick.

You have to admit...this has been one of our more unusual threads, yes?

MickRooney
07-31-2009, 01:11 PM
I have an anwer, a solution. I'm not sharing it yet. Has somebody thought of it yet? By everyone's confusion, the answer is no.

By the logic of above, one really wonders what his motivations were in even starting the thread?

A case of 'I have a secret, but, shss, I actually can't tell you!'

Newguy1428
08-01-2009, 10:20 AM
Hey Mick, I think you're out of line here. I like the insult. It's all in fun. Knowledge is power. Here I am, some joker, who thinks he has angle nobody else has. Maybe I do and maybe I don't? I just can't find anything in the category I am looking at for POD's epecially. I was looking for the facts on the industry. It's exciting to find unclaimed territory.

I am trying to figure out joomla for my website. Somebody told me there was a fee. I can't find it.

valeriec80
08-08-2009, 10:25 AM
Newguy, are you a native English speaker?