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View Full Version : Why don't agents play it "safe" and look for hot e-books?



hughhowey
12-31-2011, 01:38 AM
I've often wondered why agents don't flip the old game of waiting for the right book to come to them, and instead spend time searching for the book they want to represent. E-books now make this possible. Not only can they scour the bestselling lists, they can read reviews to get market research, and read a sample to gauge writing style/quality.

It seems this only happens with authors who sell in the millions, which leaves a ton of room to grab authors who sell in the hundreds of thousands.

Except, I read in a back-and-forth between two writers that they had e-book queries rejected because the book was assumed to have "run its course." And of course, the book sales continued to grow.

Is it fear? Snootiness? Or is this a case of dinosaurs trying to make sense of these upstart shrews?

Old Hack
12-31-2011, 01:55 AM
No, it's because most agents already have more than enough author clients already so they're not really out on the prowl looking for new ones; and because it's so much easier, as an agent or editor, to only work with books which aren't already published in your territory.

Also, the e-books which have done rather well tend to be in specific genres which work best in e-books. If print editions stood a good chance of selling well you can bet that their original publishers would have done their level best to acquire print rights too, and to exploit them.

thothguard51
12-31-2011, 01:58 AM
Because it is a business. The same reasons sport teams try to find the best athlete to meet their teams needs, college or professional.

IceCreamEmpress
12-31-2011, 02:50 AM
A novel in most genres needs to sell 25,000 copies in hardcover before a Big Six publisher thinks it's a success. It's not clear how many of the people who can sell 25,000 copies of a self-published ebook title at $2.99 or $1.99 or 99 cents--and there aren't all that many of them in the first place--are going to make the transition to selling 25,000 hardcover copies very easily.

It will be interesting to see how Amanda Hocking does in print. I wish her success, because she is a really hard worker and has a strong following, so I hope that will translate well to a new marketplace.

I think most successful agents trust their instincts and their ability to gauge the competence and potential for success of the manuscripts that cross their desks. Figuring out what self-published writers will make a go of it in the commercial marketplace isn't necessarily any easier for them.

CrastersBabies
12-31-2011, 09:07 AM
Considering that agents go through hundreds of emails and manuscripts a week (perhaps even a day), I'm not sure they're going to have time to run out and wade through all 100000 people on Amazon who thought they'd make bank by uploading a novella about vampires.

Jamesaritchie
12-31-2011, 09:24 AM
I've often wondered why agents don't flip the old game of waiting for the right book to come to them, and instead spend time searching for the book they want to represent. E-books now make this possible. Not only can they scour the bestselling lists, they can read reviews to get market research, and read a sample to gauge writing style/quality.

It seems this only happens with authors who sell in the millions, which leaves a ton of room to grab authors who sell in the hundreds of thousands.

Except, I read in a back-and-forth between two writers that they had e-book queries rejected because the book was assumed to have "run its course." And of course, the book sales continued to grow.

Is it fear? Snootiness? Or is this a case of dinosaurs trying to make sense of these upstart shrews?

It's because agents, most of them, at least, are smart enough to know this would be a great way to fail, and a lousy way to make money.

The last thing any sane agent would do, except as a long shot way of filling in a few minutes of idle time, is spend effort in the way you suggest.

It's not only unworkable, it's far, far, far too time-consuming for the results you get.

Plus, reviews are completely meaningless, writing style matters ONLY in the context of marketability and sales numbers, and agents have absolutely no shortage of books that already come to them. The have, in fact, a huge surplus.

And all it takes is one look at sales numbers to see instantly that agents are doing it right.

Back and forth between two writers? Nothing could mean less. And if sales really do continue to grow, agents and editors will take notice.

But those two writers should have been smart enough to find an agent or traditional publisher first.

BunnyMaz
12-31-2011, 02:18 PM
Not to mention first publishing rights will have been used if the book is available as an ebook. If agents won't represent a MS that's been printed on someone's blog, why would they represent one that's actually been published already?

Agents already have an immense slush pile to wade through.

Wayne K
12-31-2011, 02:25 PM
A person who sells 25,000 e-books, self or e-pubbed, might be a good person to watch for a future book.

Old Hack
12-31-2011, 06:39 PM
Agreed, Wayne: but why would agents wade through all the self-published stuff that's out there in order to find it when submissions arrive in front of them without effort?

hughhowey
12-31-2011, 08:40 PM
Agreed, Wayne: but why would agents wade through all the self-published stuff that's out there in order to find it when submissions arrive in front of them without effort?

I'm not suggesting they wade through all of it; my question related to the top sellers.

There's a guy on these forums who has a top-50 mystery novel on Amazon. he's selling 30,000 copies A MONTH. Now, I don't think an agent is going to pick up this particular title (they tend to think e-books have always run their course, with no real evidence to suggest why), but why not check these handful of writers out? They already have a huge reader base, and they are probably working on something else.

A number of you have pointed out the mountains of submissions agents have. 99.99% of those are junk. Which is why unpaid interns go through most of them to weed out the chaff. Why not let e-book readers do some of that volunteer work as well?

As for thinking the current system works: it doesn't. The majority of talent signed by agents never get a contract, never see their book in print. And AFTER this round of failure, the majority of books that are printed do not earn the publisher any money. A handful of lucky flukes and established big names pays everyone else.

I work in a bookstore and am witness to the bizarre nature of the publishing world. We waste tons of money and time shipping books around the country. Anything we don't sell, we send back for a full refund. It's ludicrous. The remaindering process is even sillier. But at least they don't do what they used to: They used to simply burn un-bought books. Often, the boxes had never been opened. Because someone guessed they needed a 50K print-run, so that's what they went with.

It's all so baffling. Publishers and agents both seem so slow and unwilling to update their business models.

Just my opinion, I suppose.

hughhowey
12-31-2011, 08:42 PM
Agreed, Wayne: but why would agents wade through all the self-published stuff that's out there in order to find it when submissions arrive in front of them without effort?

Because more and more writers are eschewing the querying process altogether and are making a good living by publishing themselves. Which is less than ideal for the agents, the publishers, and the readers.

Cyia
12-31-2011, 08:50 PM
Because more and more writers are eschewing the querying process altogether and are making a good living by publishing themselves. Which is less than ideal for the agents, the publishers, and the readers.


Not really. The average sales for self-pubbed e-books are still in the double digits. "Good sales" seem to be in the 600-sold range.

There are still more than enough books going to agents and commercial publishers, more than could ever be published, even, otherwise agents would be soliciting authors rather than the other way around.

And, if the books available on Amazon as the cheap/free downloads were on par (in a general sense. I know some of them are stellar) with the product put out by commercial presses, then it would be a GOOD thing for writers, not bad.

A person who can make tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of sales via Amazon without any existing platform or audience IS going to snag the attention of agents and publishers because something like that happening is so rare it's newsworthy. Most of the successes with direct-to-Kindle publishing are from people who are already known and already have readers in place.



the majority of books that are printed do not earn the publisher any money.

Also, this is garbage. It's a long-standing belief that doesn't bear out. Books don't always "earn out", but theyd don't have to earn out to make money for the publisher.

gothicangel
12-31-2011, 09:02 PM
I have no interest in self-publishing. I'd rather spend the time and energy honing my craft to a point where I attract an agent, rather than just selling to friends/family/other self-published writers.

Check out 2011 bestseller lists [just released on Thursday.] Then tell me that most books don't earn out.

scarletpeaches
12-31-2011, 09:31 PM
Agents really don't have enough to do already?

CrastersBabies
12-31-2011, 09:39 PM
If most ebooks I found weren't riddled with grammatical errors, bad spelling and poor craft, I might (as a reader) take them more seriously. I don't. Right now, it's a dot.com trend that people are jumping on in hopes of becoming the next discovered author that makes bank. Amazon sure isn't complaining. :)

I'm sure there are the select few who take time to write something thoughtful instead of vomiting up digital prose in order to flood the market. I'm not interested in reading something that took 6 weeks to write and proofread (once). I'd expect more attention on a short story. Until they find a better way to sift through this, I'll continue to buy more in print and leave the ebook market alone for the most part. I know many people who feel this way which is unfortunate. I'm sure there are amazing ebooks out there.

There is also this stigma that people who go ebook or self-pub aren't cutting the mustard craftwise or they would have gotten an agent and seen their book(s) in print. I admit that thought sits in the back of my head, even though I know that some authors are taking a stand against the big publishing baddies and want to break ground here. Until there is a better way to discern the good from the bad, I don't have time to go searching for these needles in a haystack. I write more than I read. I have a family, two jobs. If someone could carve out another hour in the day that I could dedicate toward searching ebooks, maybe. Or, I might just spend it writing instead. :)

areteus
12-31-2011, 09:43 PM
It is an inefficient use of time and they are not convinced of the potential profit from the enterprise - the old equation of time spent vs profit made. They also consider it far more professional to pay attention to those who bothered to read their submission guidelines and submit something to them following those guidelines than randomly cruise websites because the next JK Rowling may be in there somewhere. As far as they are concerned, the next JK Rowling is more likely to be in their slush pile and any self pubbers out there who think they are the next JK Rowling can go through the process like every other person in the slush pile. It is, after all, a reasonably fair and equitable system (as opposed to one based on the author's own hyperbole and the reviews posted by their mates).

One thing I would like to add to this debate, however, is a call to stop referring to 'self published' works as 'ebooks' because not all self published works are ebooks (many are print via Lulu and similar) and not all ebooks are self published (many publishers put out ebooks now, including the big six).

hughhowey
12-31-2011, 10:16 PM
Also, this is garbage. It's a long-standing belief that doesn't bear out. Books don't always "earn out", but theyd don't have to earn out to make money for the publisher.

Of course they do. If they hand out a $50K advance, and the book brings in $40K, that's not "making money." Earning out is breaking even. The next dollar is the first dollar "earned." It's the difference between gross and profit.

eqb
12-31-2011, 10:21 PM
Of course they do. If they hand out a $50K advance, and the book brings in $40K, that's not "making money." Earning out is breaking even. The next dollar is the first dollar "earned." It's the difference between gross and profit.

"Earn out" means the book earns enough in royalties to equal the advance. The publisher makes a profit well before that happens.

hughhowey
12-31-2011, 10:23 PM
How about a few examples from other industries that have already been through this turmoil? Look at musicians discovered on MySpace and YouTube. Or photographers discovered via the web. Just because books have been published a certain way doesn't mean it's the best way. I feel like everyone is accepting the same-old without any valid reasons. (I hope I'm not sounded vehemently convinced, or anything, I'm mostly curious).

Talent scouts work in almost every other field of entertainment. They go to clubs and listen to music, they watch small-time athletes, they sit in comedy clubs, they watch low-budget films. Why are books different? Just because they always have been?

And actually, they haven't always been like this. Top names used to publish themselves a century ago.

I guess my confusion comes from seeing every field react to technology, but this one, the one we belong to, isn't. E-books are priced too high, windowing upsets customers, and profit margins are squeezed by high-rent NYC real estate. None of that makes much sense these days.

Oh, and to the person who quoted average e-books sales, I guess I'll repeat myself one more time: I'm not talking about scouring the Kindle market for the dredges, I'm wondering why someone like Amanda Hockling (sp?) has to sell millions before she gets an offer, instead of hundreds of thousands. There's plenty of people doing the latter. If I were an agent, I'd fire up my Kindle and read a page or two.

Isn't this what Penguin does with their great unpublished contest or whatchamacallit? And isn't Amazon starting the same thing with their own publishing company? So . . . if it works for publishers, why wouldn't agents want some of the action as well? Didn't Amanda get an offer from a publisher? The middleman was cut out, which leaves them no slice of the pie! Seems crazy to me.

hughhowey
12-31-2011, 10:25 PM
"Earn out" means the book earns enough in royalties to equal the advance. The publisher makes a profit well before that happens.

Because they make more per book than the author. Gotcha. I was under the impression that this is a huge minority of books (like 30% or so).

eqb
12-31-2011, 10:34 PM
That's....too simplistic.

Publishers don't make much more than the author. Retailers, such as Amazon, required a steep discount, so the publisher gets maybe 50% of the cover price. Subtract the percentage due the author (anywhere from 8% to 15%, depending on the book format and the contract). That leaves them with 35% to 42% of the cover price, from which they pay salaries and overhead. Profit per book is very thin.

However, publishers do run a P&L sheet before they make an offer for a book, so they can estimate how many books they need to sell before they pay all expenses and start earning that slim profit.

If they estimate badly, they lose money, but in most cases, they earn a small profit. Add to that, the mega-best-sellers that provide an extra cushion.

Toothpaste
12-31-2011, 10:40 PM
Actually Amanda does have an agent now.

I don't get your point, authors like Amanda show that, yes, if you make a serious dent publishers/agents will take note. But as others have said, it takes time to separate the wheat from the chaff, and just because a book is selling seemingly well, doesn't mean it actually is. If the ebook is priced at 99c, would it still sell as well at 9.99? It seems to me that a lot of people say that the ebook is becoming the new disposable book, like the dime store novels of the 50s etc. That people buy them because they are cheap, read them because they have a fun if not well written appeal (even Amanda Hocking admits a) her work could be better edited, and b) that she got emails from people her telling her as much), and then they forget all about them and buy the next cheap thing. The key thing here is that people are willing to buy these books because they are 99c, it's no risk to them, if they like it they do if they don't they don't, but it's the pricepoint that gets them buying.

A book that a publisher is going to invest time and money in can't just be a book purchased because it is cheap. It can't be sold for that little because no profit can be made at that price point considering the investment.

So most of those still rare successes in ebooks tend to be not very interesting to publishers and agents. It's only when it is proven that there is a real interest in the work itself, not just the price point that they do sit up and listen. And then they sign the author, sell the work for a lot of money and do just fine. So to me, it doesn't seem like anyone's losing out so far . ..

eqb
12-31-2011, 10:45 PM
So . . . if it works for publishers, why wouldn't agents want some of the action as well? Didn't Amanda get an offer from a publisher? The middleman was cut out, which leaves them no slice of the pie! Seems crazy to me.

A couple things wrong with your analogies.

Music in small venues have gone through a vetting process already. *Someone* hired those musicians. Reading self-pubbed works on a Kindle is like opening your door and calling for open auditions. A certain small percentage will be great. The rest will be awful, or merely tedious. (Just like regular slush.)

You're also assuming that agents are hurting for clients. They aren't. Good agents get hundreds of queries/samples every week. They find good books from new writers all the time. Why spend even *more* time reading e-books when they could be working for their clients?

BenPanced
12-31-2011, 10:57 PM
A couple things wrong with your analogies.

Music in small venues have gone through a vetting process already. *Someone* hired those musicians. Reading self-pubbed works on a Kindle is like opening your door and calling for open auditions. A certain small percentage will be great. The rest will be awful, or merely tedious. (Just like regular slush.)

You're also assuming that agents are hurting for clients. They aren't. Good agents get hundreds of queries/samples every week. They find good books from new writers all the time. Why spend even *more* time reading e-books when they could be working for their clients?
It's also easier for the potential clients to go to the agent rather than the other way around. With the hundreds of thousands, if not more, self-pubbed ebooks appearing on the net each day, an agent's current clientele would suffer and they'd have to hire a larger staff to get through it. It would only complicate the process even more than it already is.

Talent scouts work in almost every other field of entertainment. They go to clubs and listen to music, they watch small-time athletes, they sit in comedy clubs, they watch low-budget films. Why are books different? Just because they always have been?The field of potential baseball players, musicians, and comedians is probably a bit more narrow than the number of potential authors. With the ease and simplicity of getting your book up and running on Amazon and other such sites, there are probably more authors getting their work out there on a wider scale. Musicians and comedians can post clips on YouTube. Authors have Lulu, CreateSpace, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and probably a dozen other such places where their work can appear. I really don't think an agent has that much time in a day and that many people working for them to keep up.

gothicangel
12-31-2011, 10:59 PM
Posing an hypothetical here:

So say agents did start trawling the Kindle boards, are you expecting them to pay for each download?

Never. Going. To. Happen.

MacAllister
12-31-2011, 11:12 PM
You know what I wonder about? Those books that are selling in the tens of thousands of downloads a month? Why don't I know anyone who has read 'em? Why aren't people talking about those books, reviewing 'em on their blogs or on Goodreads? Why aren't they telling their friends "hey, you gotta read this book I just stayed up all night reading!" Why aren't we seeing the threads here about those books, like "Why Twilight Sucks" and "Do You Read Dan Brown in Public, non-ironically?"

Why are we always reduced to talking about them in terms of "This guy I heard about is selling X0,000 books a month off Amazon Kindle!" But never in terms of the actual titles or anything about the contents of those books? We hear about them like they're any old generic widget, like the guy is selling mousetraps or can-openers or keychain multi-tools.

hughhowey
12-31-2011, 11:14 PM
Posing an hypothetical here:

So say agents did start trawling the Kindle boards, are you expecting them to pay for each download?

Never. Going. To. Happen.

No. I mentioned that the first five pages are free. That's all they typically read with a query anyway.

I feel like half of you have excellent, valid points which are all sating my curiosity. I feel like the other half are piling on without bothering to read my post.

Not that you have to read my post or my conundrum, but then . . . you don't have to respond if you haven't! ;)

eqb
12-31-2011, 11:14 PM
Posing an hypothetical here:

So say agents did start trawling the Kindle boards, are you expecting them to pay for each download?

Never. Going. To. Happen.

If there are samples, they could read those for free.

And for mega-sellers in self-published e-books, they probably do just that. But they don't read the run-of-the-mill self-pubbed book, because that would be like adding an extra metric ton to their slush-reading.

And all too often, the people who say agents (or editors) should read more self-pubbed works don't mean "Read the mega-sellers." They mean "Read my book."

veinglory
12-31-2011, 11:15 PM
One reason would be that a good portion of the lifetime profitability of a book is now in the digital format. So an ebook that did well enough to attract attention and separate itself from the pack, would already have burned through a lot of that profit.

Of course in niche areas with unexploited mainstream appeal agents and publishers are picking up self-published books. I can think of examples in the non-straight and non-white romance genres that leapt directly from self-pub to major imprints (skipping romance-specific presses altogether).

hughhowey
12-31-2011, 11:17 PM
You know what I wonder about? Those books that are selling in the tens of thousands of downloads a month? Why don't I know anyone who has read 'em? Why aren't people talking about those books, reviewing 'em on their blogs or on Goodreads? Why aren't they telling their friends "hey, you gotta read this book I just stayed up all night reading!" Why aren't we seeing the threads here about those books, like "Why Twilight Sucks" and "Do You Read Dan Brown in Public, non-ironically?"

Why are we always reduced to talking about them in terms of "This guy I heard about is selling X0,000 books a month off Amazon Kindle!" But never in terms of the actual titles or anything about the contents of those books?

Maybe people are embarrassed to have read unedited e-books? Or another possibility (something that I think happens a LOT): I think a sale does NOT equal a read, you know what I mean? People might snatch up a few books for a dollar, thinking "what the hell," but never actually read them, or read beyond the first few pages.

But then, somebody must be reading a few of them to bother to review the books. I don't know. It's an interesting time.

hughhowey
12-31-2011, 11:18 PM
One reason would be that a good portion of the lifetime profitability of a book is now in the digital format. So an ebook that did well enough to attract attention and separate itself from the pack, would already have burned through a lot of that profit.

That's an excellent point!


Edit: But still, I always assume writers are working on the "next thing." So you wouldn't scout a singer for belting a cover tune, but you might for her tone/quality of voice.

BenPanced
12-31-2011, 11:19 PM
You know what I wonder about? Those books that are selling in the tens of thousands of downloads a month? Why don't I know anyone who has read 'em? Why aren't people talking about those books, reviewing 'em on their blogs or on Goodreads? Why aren't they telling their friends "hey, you gotta read this book I just stayed up all night reading!" Why aren't we seeing the threads here about those books, like "Why Twilight Sucks" and "Do You Read Dan Brown in Public, non-ironically?"

Why are we always reduced to talking about them in terms of "This guy I heard about is selling X0,000 books a month off Amazon Kindle!" But never in terms of the actual titles or anything about the contents of those books?
Because the X0,000 number of books sold on Kindle is blinding people to the possibility that the book sucks bilge water. They see that magic number and think because Amanda Hocking did it, it's gonna be just as easy for them to do it, as well. Never mind the amount of work she put into writing the books and selling the books and marketing the books and blogging about the books to the point where it was taking up too much of her writing time. SHE SOLD A GAZILLION BOOKS SO I CAN TOO ZOMFG!!11!!11!one one!!11!1one eleventy-one!!11!!! Stars in their eyes.

thethinker42
12-31-2011, 11:20 PM
Maybe people are embarrassed to have read unedited e-books? Or another possibility (something that I think happens a LOT): I think a sale does NOT equal a read, you know what I mean? People might snatch up a few books for a dollar, thinking "what the hell," but never actually read them, or read beyond the first few pages.

But then, somebody must be reading a few of them to bother to review the books. I don't know. It's an interesting time.

It could also have to do with the number of titles the author has out there. One book selling 30,000 copies is a very different animal than 30 books selling 1,000 copies apiece.

hughhowey
12-31-2011, 11:26 PM
It could also have to do with the number of titles the author has out there. One book selling 30,000 copies is a very different animal than 30 books selling 1,000 copies apiece.

Agreed. The person I'm thinking of (if I had more motivation, I'd search for the thread, but it's a current, active one), is selling 30,000 a month of a single title. The title was #34 or something on the Kindle store.

I checked out the book. It has the typically awful self-pubbed cover art (not as bad as some), and had great reviews.

I'm guessing it's been revised thoroughly. The plot must be good enough to be selling 30K a month. And yeah, as every person in this thread has pointed out, Agents are horribly overworked and insufferably busy people (why do I doubt this?). But it isn't as if their jobs are a cinch. It's a competitive market; they need their authors to sell books so they can take their spouses on vacations; any leg-up is a leg-up (you think they go to book conventions because they really want to?).

I'm not an agent (obviously, hence my confusion/ignorance), so I'm just wondering, if I were one, would I be checking out this mystery novel and asking this guy what he's currently working on?

That's my entire question. Lots of other ones I've had, however, have been soundly cleared up. :D

hughhowey
12-31-2011, 11:29 PM
SHE SOLD A GAZILLION BOOKS SO I CAN TOO ZOMFG!!11!!11!one one!!11!1one eleventy-one!!11!!! Stars in their eyes.

:D

I've never seen the eleventy-one bit before. Got a chuckle out of me.

Old Hack
12-31-2011, 11:53 PM
I'm not suggesting they wade through all of it; my question related to the top sellers.

There's a guy on these forums who has a top-50 mystery novel on Amazon. he's selling 30,000 copies A MONTH. Now, I don't think an agent is going to pick up this particular title (they tend to think e-books have always run their course, with no real evidence to suggest why), but why not check these handful of writers out?

What you're not considering is whether or not those top-selling self-published writers actually want representation. Writers who submit are interested in having an agent to represent them but they still can get very rude when their work is rejected: writers who have successfully self-published are more likely to have bought into the anti-trade publishing rhetoric that leaks all over the internet. Why would an agent voluntarily expose themselves to rudeness and ridicule by approaching a writer who might not be interested in their services?


As for thinking the current system works: it doesn't.

The system does work, but you're looking at it from the wrong end. The system is in place to provide good books for readers. Readers fund the publishing business, and so they're the ones it's meant to benefit. Of course a lot of writers get rejected: their books aren't good enough, or aren't what readers want, and so they're not published.


The majority of talent signed by agents never get a contract, never see their book in print.

Cite your sources for this, please.

This year I've asked half a dozen agents how many of the new clients they've taken on ended up getting published.

One of the agents took on two new writers in the last eighteen months and made several deals for them both.

One of the agents took on four new writers in the last year and sold books for two of them, but is continuing to work with the other two writers.

The other four agents reported numbers in the middle of those two extremes.


And AFTER this round of failure, the majority of books that are printed do not earn the publisher any money. A handful of lucky flukes and established big names pays everyone else.

As has already been established, you're wrong here. The last time I looked at any stats 70-80% of books failed to earn out their advances, but about the same percentage DID make a profit for their publishers. The "handful of lucky flukes and established big names" do even better for their publishers: a big-name author I know routinely sells more than 2,500 copies of each of his books in their first week of hardback publication. He's worth a fortune for his publishers, and he makes a stonking amount of money from his writing.


I work in a bookstore and am witness to the bizarre nature of the publishing world. We waste tons of money and time shipping books around the country. Anything we don't sell, we send back for a full refund. It's ludicrous.

I agree it's ludicrous. So don't do it. Only order the books you are sure you'll sell, and don't make any returns. The publishers don't make you do it: just because it's allowed doesn't mean you have to. You'll find that publishers will love you if you behave this way, especially the smaller ones who spend a fortune dealing with returns and are sometimes driven out of business by them.


The remaindering process is even sillier.

There comes a time in every product when it's more expensive to keep that product in stock than the product is worth. At that point it makes sense to get rid of that product. That's what remaindering does. It's not silly, it's a business decision.


But at least they don't do what they used to: They used to simply burn un-bought books. Often, the boxes had never been opened. Because someone guessed they needed a 50K print-run, so that's what they went with.

Again, cite your sources, please.


It's all so baffling. Publishers and agents both seem so slow and unwilling to update their business models.

Just my opinion, I suppose.

There's a lot of stuff on the internet about how publishers and agents are slow to adopt new technology, and are slow to take advantage of new business opportunities. I find that most of this stuff is written by people who have never worked in publishing, or who have a vested interest in perpetuating these myths. It's not my experience.

hughhowey
01-01-2012, 12:08 AM
Again, cite your sources, please.

Haha! Am I writing a research paper or just fielding a question on a forum? Man, it's like you sit around in an armchair waiting on someone dumber than you to come along so you can leap up and beat them with your cane. I didn't mean any offense; I promise!

The book burning is common knowledge, I thought. Since you seem a little stiff and professorial, you probably don't want a Wiki link, but since I don't care if I fail this class, I'll provide one anyway:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remaindered_book

The first time I'd heard about this was from one of our book reps. I've heard about it numerous times since. If you're curious about this, why not Google instead of berating me? I'm honestly here wondering about something and some of you are giving great answers, the rest of you seem like you're angry that I even exist!

mscelina
01-01-2012, 12:08 AM
*sigh*

The business model of publishers and agents doesn't have a damn thing to do with self-published (again, you need to make the distinction. I am an e-publisher: I publish other people's books. If you publish your own book, you are a self-publisher) books. What it has to do with 99.2% (made up figure) of the time is an author who is either too impatient to go through the submission process with traditional publishing, is unwilling to be edited at all, has been rejected sixteen million times, or who sees the success of a Hocking or a self-promotion guru like Konrath and thinks "Gee, I can do that too! AND I don't have to be rejected/edited/submit like everyone else to get rich."

Or whatever the motivation is.

At any rate, expecting a publisher or an agent to go searching through the millions of self-published books to find one rare jewel in the mix is the back side of impossible. That has nothing to do with their business model and everything to do with the fact that most self-published books are not up to the standards of the books they REJECT in their slush piles. Imagine Donald Trump going dumpster diving.

Yep. Just like that.

hughhowey
01-01-2012, 12:14 AM
Again, cite your sources, please.

The magic of Google!

http://www.cracked.com/article_19453_6-reasons-were-in-another-book-burning-period-in-history.html

http://greenupgrader.com/10236/stop-borders-from-trashing-thousands-of-unsold-books/

While you go read, I'll see if anyone else here has more to teach me.

And watch where you point that rifle, old man!

eqb
01-01-2012, 12:16 AM
I'm honestly here wondering about something and some of you are giving great answers, the rest of you seem like you're angry that I even exist!

I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt, but since you didn't even know the common term "earn out," I have to admit I don't trust any of your so-called common information.

My suggestion? Read more of the forums on this site. Learn more about how trade publishing works, and what agents actually do for their clients. You work for a bookseller, so you have a lot to contribute from that end, but I also think you might benefit from learning more about the other aspects of publishing.

hughhowey
01-01-2012, 12:21 AM
What it has to do with 99.2% (made up figure) of the time is an author who is either too impatient to go through the submission process with traditional publishing, is unwilling to be edited at all, has been rejected sixteen million times, or who sees the success of a Hocking or a self-promotion guru like Konrath and thinks "Gee, I can do that too! AND I don't have to be rejected/edited/submit like everyone else to get rich."

Or whatever the motivation is.

Yeah, I get the distinction between self and other published. And again, I'm not thinking anyone would go through millions of books. I suppose the answer is that this does happen, but that it requires selling millions before the tipping point is reached.

Does everyone think it will stay this way? That the biz will remain unchanged as technology and e-readers alter the book landscape? Because I don't think so. We work in perpetual fear at the bookstore. Kids come in and scan barcodes and we watch them order from Amazon. It's changing right in front of us.

Amanda is an example. Penguin's deal with Amazon and CreateSpace is an example. I think we'll see more and more of these trends.

But the majority of you seem to think the system is as efficient as it can be and that it will not change. I find that interesting. And thanks for the responses, even the hostile ones. It was fun to get kicked around for a bit!

eqb
01-01-2012, 12:27 AM
But the majority of you seem to think the system is as efficient as it can be and that it will not change. I find that interesting. And thanks for the responses, even the hostile ones. It was fun to get kicked around for a bit!

If that is what you read from the previous posts, then 1) you have a giant problem with reading comprehension, and 2) I don't need to bother with correcting your misapprehensions and misinformation about publishing and agents, because see #1.

*plonk*

Old Hack
01-01-2012, 12:31 AM
Haha! Am I writing a research paper or just fielding a question on a forum?

You're discussing something at AbsoluteWrite: I'm surprised you don't know.

We have high standards at AbsoluteWrite: we expect our members to be able to verify what they say here, because otherwise we risk them misleading our other members. And we pride ourselves on providing solid, dependable advice to our members.


Man, it's like you sit around in an armchair waiting on someone dumber than you to come along so you can leap up and beat them with your cane. I didn't mean any offense; I promise!

May I remind you of AW's one rule: respect your fellow writer. If you can't answer my questions or cite your sources, it is absolutely not acceptable for you to resort to poking fun at me in order to distract everyone's attention from your failings.


The book burning is common knowledge, I thought. Since you seem a little stiff and professorial, you probably don't want a Wiki link, but since I don't care if I fail this class, I'll provide one anyway:

http://en.wikipedia./wiki/Remaindered_book (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remaindered_book)

From the tone of your comment I'm sure you know how very unreliable Wikipedia is as a source. Oh, and that One Rule? You know, the "respect your fellow writer" one? You're getting kind of close to breaking it. Please be more careful.


The first time I'd heard about this was from one of our book reps. I've heard about it numerous times since. If you're curious about this, why not Google instead of berating me? I'm honestly here wondering about something and some of you are giving great answers, the rest of you seem like you're angry that I even exist!

Heh. I'm not remotely curious about this. I've seen how books are disposed of when they go out of print: heck, I've been the person to put books out of print. I know how this works. I am not convinced that you do. I suspect that you've pieced together an understanding of it from various conversations that you've had, but that your understanding of it is flawed in several ways.


The magic of Google!

http://www.cracked.com/article_19453_6-reasons-were-in-another-book-burning-period-in-history.html

http://greenupgrader.com/10236/stop-borders-from-trashing-thousands-of-unsold-books/

While you go read, I'll see if anyone else here has more to teach me.

And watch where you point that rifle, old man!

You'd be better off spending your time losing your attitude and considering that maybe, just maybe, you're making a bit of an arse of yourself here.

Happy new year.

mscelina
01-01-2012, 12:46 AM
Yeah, I get the distinction between self and other published. And again, I'm not thinking anyone would go through millions of books. I suppose the answer is that this does happen, but that it requires selling millions before the tipping point is reached.

Does everyone think it will stay this way? That the biz will remain unchanged as technology and e-readers alter the book landscape? Because I don't think so. We work in perpetual fear at the bookstore. Kids come in and scan barcodes and we watch them order from Amazon. It's changing right in front of us.

Amanda is an example. Penguin's deal with Amazon and CreateSpace is an example. I think we'll see more and more of these trends.

But the majority of you seem to think the system is as efficient as it can be and that it will not change. I find that interesting. And thanks for the responses, even the hostile ones. It was fun to get kicked around for a bit!

Um...I'm not seeing anyone acting hostile here but you, to be frank. And considering that three of the people who you've now insulted on this one page have a lot of experience in publishing at ALL levels, you'd be better off if you stepped off your soapbox and LISTENED to what we're saying--even if it doesn't gel with what YOU (erroneously) believe is true. Because what you're saying in this thread is NOT what really happens in the publishing industry.

Because I could have used this time I've spent in trying to help you in reading submissions or going back to my next magazine issue or editing authors who want to learn.

Medievalist
01-01-2012, 01:12 AM
Of course they do. If they hand out a $50K advance, and the book brings in $40K, that's not "making money." Earning out is breaking even. The next dollar is the first dollar "earned." It's the difference between gross and profit.

No; earning out is NOT breaking even. It really isn't.

Go Google P and L or profit and loss statements from commercial publishers. A number of professionals have actually put up samples.

They're not handing out large advances as a speculative gesture; they've already calculated what the book will cost, what they can move through channels, and what their upside and downside limits are.

If publishing really did work the way you seem to think, publishers would have tanked in the early nineteenth century.

Medievalist
01-01-2012, 01:19 AM
Haha! Am I writing a research paper or just fielding a question on a forum? Man, it's like you sit around in an armchair waiting on someone dumber than you to come along so you can leap up and beat them with your cane. I didn't mean any offense; I promise!

Dude I am Professorial, and you will respect Old Hack and all the other members here or you won't be around to look as foolish as you are looking right now.


The book burning is common knowledge, I thought. Since you seem a little stiff and professorial, you probably don't want a Wiki link, but since I don't care if I fail this class, I'll provide one anyway:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remaindered_book


Remaindered books earn a profit for publishers. Don't confuse stripped books, books returned from retailers, with remaindered books.

Note as well that books aren't burned; they're pulped, and used to make paper, which is then sold back to the publishers as low-acid paper—and when publishers buy and use it, they get a nice little tax reduction as a reward for their green practices.

Keep in mind that the expected returns are actually calculated in P and Ls; and for an experienced publisher with solid staff, they're strikingly accurate.

I suggest you might want to lurk a bit; you're woefully underestimating your audience. You are addressing people in this thread, never mind the forum, who have been making a living from publishing and from writing books for years and years.

You need to slow down--now--and figure out where you are, before you do yourself any more damage.

Start by reading the Newbie's Thread (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66315), as in Right Now.

Perks
01-01-2012, 01:52 AM
Haha! Am I writing a research paper or just fielding a question on a forum? Man, it's like you sit around in an armchair waiting on someone dumber than you to come along so you can leap up and beat them with your cane. I didn't mean any offense; I promise!

Wow. What a completely jackass thing to say. Did you realize that Old Hack has been in the publishing industry for a long time?

Many of the people you're swatting at don't have to wait very long for someone dumber than them to come along.

BunnyMaz
01-01-2012, 03:10 AM
I... did you just cite cracked of all places as evidence to support your claim?

Dude. I love that humour site as much as the next person, and I know there are even members here who write articles for them, but I'm sure even they would agree that cracked isn't a good source to cite.

IceCreamEmpress
01-01-2012, 05:05 AM
See, this whole discussion seems like so many other discussions I've seen. "Commercial publishing is dead! Self-publishing is the thing! Therefore, people in the commercial publishing field, like agents, should be looking for the next big thing in self-publishing! Like Amanda Hocking, who by selling a ton of self-published books and getting the attention of an agent and a big commercial publisher. This shows that commercial publishing doesn't know what it's doing!"

I just find the whole argument confusing and circular, because it seems to me that the measure of success as a self-publisher is to attract the attention of the commercial publishing field, and that's used as an example of how commercial publishing is out of touch.

Agents know how to pick books that will sell out of the slush pile. They don't need to read a whole bunch of 99-cent self-published etitles and decide which ones might do well (or which authors might do well) in the hardcover marketplace. People will buy things for 99 cents that they would never spend $25 on.

eward
01-01-2012, 09:49 AM
From an article about Darcie Chan (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/how-i-became-a-best-selling-author-.html):


Thirty authors have sold more than 100,000 copies of their books through Amazon's Kindle self-publishing program, and a dozen have sold more than 200,000 copies, according to Amazon.

There are very few authors selling hundreds of thousands of books through Amazon. As you can see, since 2007, only 30 have sold more than 100K copies. Granted, that is a LOT, and if I sold even 10,000 copies of my books next year, I'd be happy. Of course I have no kids, mortgage or huge responsibilities, but I could live quite comfortably at 15,000 copies a year with an average profit of $2 (what one makes on a $2.99 novel through KDP) a book. But still, I'm not sure where you think this demographic exists.

Everyone's pretty much answered the question -- that agents have enough to do and enough people showing them their work that they don't need to go search for potential clients.

One thing to consider is some of these self-publishers don't want an agent. Some have the anti-publisher mentality, yes, but some are making such good money they don't want to compromise their royalties. Victorine Lieske's book, Not What She Seems, hit the NYT Bestseller's list after thousands of sales and she was contacted by a couple agents. Ultimately, she turned them down because she believed she could make more money on Amazon than if she went with a traditional deal.

Doing the math. . .if you're lucky enough to sell just 1,000 books a month with an average of $2 a book, that's $2,000 a month or $24,000 a year. Do you want to take the chance that your book might not be as successful in print? Of course more factors should go into your decision than just money, like the amount of work and money a self-publisher puts producing a book, the fact that you're not guaranteed 1K sales/month forever, advances, how quick you're going to put out other books, etc.


You know what I wonder about? Those books that are selling in the tens of thousands of downloads a month? Why don't I know anyone who has read 'em? Why aren't people talking about those books, reviewing 'em on their blogs or on Goodreads? Why aren't they telling their friends "hey, you gotta read this book I just stayed up all night reading!" Why aren't we seeing the threads here about those books, like "Why Twilight Sucks" and "Do You Read Dan Brown in Public, non-ironically?"

Why are we always reduced to talking about them in terms of "This guy I heard about is selling X0,000 books a month off Amazon Kindle!" But never in terms of the actual titles or anything about the contents of those books?

People are talking about these books and reviewing them, but you have to go to the right blogs or forums to see this stuff (aka ones that will review and accept self-published books). I can go to some book blogs and see self-published books right next to traditionally published ones, but others won't even consider a self-published work. The internet blurs the lines to a certain point, but there are still people who are anti anything self-published.

Besides, if these books are talked about by your friends or a blog you follow or something, they're not going to be linked to a post that says, "Oh, by the way, the author sold 10,000 copies of this book this month!" So you may have seen it or heard about it but just seeing it isn't going to link to the fact that the author is selling thousands of copies a month.

Also, I'm not so sure that individual books are selling in the tens of thousands, but authors with many books are selling tens of thousands of books. I don't know what the OP originally claimed, but I think that's much more realistic since more books makes a reader easier to find you. And just look at the statistic above. If dozens of books from dozens of authors were selling tens of thousands a month, then there would probably be more than 30 authors who reached 100K sales.

I agree with the OP, though, when he says that a sale does not necessarily equal a read. Or a review. Or any kind of word of mouth. Of the 130 copies I've sold in the last three months, I haven't seen one review since October 6th. Maybe it's not right to compare my book to a book selling thousands a month, but the point is, word of mouth is not the only thing that fuels sales. Amazon algorithms play a huge part.

But yes, books that are selling in the thousands WILL be reviewed on blogs and Goodreads. I started to look up self-published books on the Top 100 Paid Kindle Store on Goodreads just to prove my point. . .and then I realized that just being on the list doesn't mean the author was going to sell more than a thousand copies that month. But most did have 50+ ratings on Goodreads. Not as much as a traditionally published book, no, but that's not surprising considering the marketing they're up against.

If you want actual titles or author names. . .
Kathleen Valentine: sold 8,000 books in December (http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php/topic,97698.msg1505440.html#msg1505440)
Michael Wallace: sold 77,000 books in 2011 (http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php/topic,95134.msg1474151.html#msg1474151)
David Dalglish: has sold more than 100K books (http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php/topic,95134.msg1474598.html#msg1474598 - should I even mention him since he's one of the rare thirty?? lol)
Artemis Hunt: sold 14K in December (http://artemishunt.blogspot.com/2011/12/hit-my-20000th-sale.html)
Mainak Dhar: sold around 25K this month (http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php/topic,97363.msg1501726.html#msg1501726)

There are probably more, but I don't have any right now since people are usually reluctant to share high numbers like that. I think people focus on the low end (self-publishers who put their books up and never see more than 10 sales) and the high end (people like Darcie Chan, Hocking, etc.) and ignore the group of people in the middle who are making money off of their books. Some only make pocket change (like me ;)), but some are making a lot more than just that (including those I listed above).

kidcharlemagne
01-01-2012, 07:29 PM
Not only can they scour the bestselling lists...which leaves a ton of room to grab authors who sell in the hundreds of thousands.



The OP wasn't talking about agents scouring the SP mega slush pile for gems but rather mining the top SP sellers for potential clients.

My question would be: is there evidence to suggest that agents don't track/ignore SP top sellers?

Old Hack
01-01-2012, 08:30 PM
The good agents I know are too busy working for their existing clients and dealing with their own submissions to spend much time, if any, approaching the self-published top sellers; and from what I can gather from talking to them, the general consensus is that they assume that if writers want representation they'll approach agents, and not the other way round.

I do know a couple of (how to put this?) less straightforward agents who might well be approaching self published writers: I don't know for sure that they are doing so but based on their past performance I think there's a good chance that they are. They have some sales to their credit, and good ones too: but they also have a long list of abandoned clients behind them, who they failed to sell. They are not agents I would want to work with, because despite their successes they make relatively few efforts to sell their clients' books and if they don't sell them within the first few submissions, that's it as far as that book--and often, that client--is concerned.

Self-publishing represents such a small proportion of the book market that it barely registers on the publishing scale. Few people who work in trade publishing have anything to do with self-publishing; there's very little crossover between trade and self publishing, as far as the non-writers like editors, agents and so on are concerned. They are becoming more aware, as self-publishing via e-book becomes more and more popular: but it's still a minor issue for most of them.

areteus
01-01-2012, 09:17 PM
With regards to the comparison between 'musicians posting You Tube videos and self publishing via ebooks'... I am not sure it really is all that different. The claim is that musicians can post to You tube and get loads of hits and a talent scout will pick them up and make them famous. Not sure it is all that easy, I think only a small minority of the musicians who post to you tube actually get noticed. Many do it, few get the number of hits to make someone important sit up and pay attention. Therefore it is the same as publishing - millions of self pubbed ebooks get thrown out into the world every year, very few get enough 'hits' to be noticed.

I think the major difference with new technology and self publishing is that there are more with access to the ability to self publish. Yes, a lot of famous authors in the past self published. However, they generally had the cash to organise a print run and publicise their own work and the confidence in their ability to know that it will succeed. The money is the major impediment and in order to want to spend that money you needed to have a high level of confidence that it would be a success. Thanks to Lulu, Createspace, Amazon and a number of other companies, it is now far easier and cheaper to self publish. The less you have to spend, the more can do it and the less confidence you have to have in your work. This means that the field is now massive and it takes a lot more for any individual to stand out in that field.

veinglory
01-01-2012, 09:25 PM
In my opinion youtube is just an audience, like busking on the internet. Ebooks are a product, more like getting someone to go to a concert.

CrastersBabies
01-01-2012, 10:11 PM
A song takes 3-4 minutes to hear. A book? Much bigger time investment. Sure, you'll probably say "yay" or "nay" after a few pages. But, some books are slow burners. They might hit a stride later on. You just never know, and honestly? I doubt an agent has that kind of time.

With music, I could click away on youtube, or set my computer up to some random new artist station, minimize and pretty much go about my day/work/tasks. Reading takes a lot more mindpower here. It's not just a click and "WOW, I have found the next DaVinci Code RIGHT HERE!"

Donna Brown
01-02-2012, 02:07 AM
In general, agents are not interested in work that has already been published. They want new "stuff" that they can sell to publishers who will publish it as previously unpublished work. Why would agents waste their time with work that's already on the market?

Maybe I'm just dense and misunderstood the question.

IceCreamEmpress
01-02-2012, 02:18 AM
Well, agents (and large commercial publishers) do, from time to time, pick up self-published writers who have had massive success and reprint their successful titles. Amanda Hocking has been mentioned in this thread already; some other examples are Brunonia Barry's The Lace Reader and Scott Sigler's Ancestor.

The thing is that that's just a tiny percentage of the market. The number of hugely bestselling authors who come straight from the agents' slush piles--from J.K. Rowling to Stephenie Meyer to Dan Brown to you name it--overwhelms the number who have come from the land of successful self-publishing.

hughhowey
01-02-2012, 02:48 AM
I just came across the thread that made me think of this in the first place. If anyone is interested in checking out the member that I was referring to (or his book, which is averaging 1,000 sales a day), here's his thread:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=231476

I think he deserves some mega-congratulations. And a few of you suggested that him taking an agent might be a poor monetary decision, and I think I understand what you mean. Which really goes a long way toward answering my original query.

Donna Brown
01-02-2012, 04:01 AM
I am still amazed by this . . . and I must admit, just a tad jealous.



I just came across the thread that made me think of this in the first place. If anyone is interested in checking out the member that I was referring to (or his book, which is averaging 1,000 sales a day), here's his thread:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=231476

I think he deserves some mega-congratulations. And a few of you suggested that him taking an agent might be a poor monetary decision, and I think I understand what you mean. Which really goes a long way toward answering my original query.

CrastersBabies
01-02-2012, 09:15 AM
I don't know how it would work if an epublished author (or self-published author) procured an agent and moved into print.

If they are already successful w/o an agent, why would you purposely find someone to take 10% of your earnings when you're doing pretty well on your own?

And, let's say an agent goes to an epublished author and says, "okay, let's get you a print deal." Would they have to accept the manuscript(s) as is? Or could they ask for edits?

Are publishing houses willing to print something "as is?" What if there are errors? What if the manuscript could really benefit from editing? Sure, it might be selling okay, but if it could sell better with the right changes, is that even possible?

kaitie
01-02-2012, 11:22 AM
15%, not ten. Also, the reason a person might choose to do this is because the print market still makes up the majority of books sold. In other words, if you go ebook only, you're giving up a large percentage of potential sales, ie people without an ereader. Now, not every book that sells well in ebook form is going to sell well in print, but generally speaking if you can tap both markets well you're going to give yourself more opportunity to sell.

As for editing, an agent might ask for changes. My agent had me do revisions (one round before signing, one after) and said he's never sent out a book without the author doing edits first. I see no reason why an agent might not say "I see some flaws that could be improved" just because the book exists in ebook form. After all, the book will be edited by a professional and the author will be doing rewrites before it's published--particularly if there is a huge need for it.

Most books that are self-published are done so without professional editing, or at least without the same level of editing. Amanda Hocking cited wanting an editor as a reason for going to publishers.

Now, this is all assuming the author is somehow selling the same book. It's possible that a big publisher might choose to do reprints if they think the market is large enough. Personally, I'd give up 15% for the chance at better sales and having my book in a bookstore.

Cyia
01-02-2012, 12:20 PM
And, let's say an agent goes to an epublished author and says, "okay, let's get you a print deal." Would they have to accept the manuscript(s) as is? Or could they ask for edits?

Are publishing houses willing to print something "as is?" What if there are errors? What if the manuscript could really benefit from editing? Sure, it might be selling okay, but if it could sell better with the right changes, is that even possible?


Going with Hocking as an example, her Trylle books are being put out (starting this month), by Macmillan. They've been edited, with new material added, IIRC, so they aren't identical to the versions available when she had them up for sale herself.

Old Hack
01-02-2012, 12:46 PM
I don't know how it would work if an epublished author (or self-published author) procured an agent and moved into print.

You seem to be confused about the differences between self-publishing and e-publishing.

Self-publishing means you publish your own work.

E-publishing is a format--like hardcover, paperback, audio, large print and so on. All these formats are used by trade publishers and are available to the self-publisher too.


If they are already successful w/o an agent, why would you purposely find someone to take 10% of your earnings when you're doing pretty well on your own?


As someone has already pointed out, agents usually charge 15% on home sales and 20% on foreign sales. And the reason a writer would want one is that good agents usually make far more for their authors than they cost them. Agents can sell foreign and translation rights which most self-published authors would struggle to sell; they usually improve the contract terms the author can get for themselves; and so on.


And, let's say an agent goes to an epublished author and says, "okay, let's get you a print deal." Would they have to accept the manuscript(s) as is? Or could they ask for edits?

Are publishing houses willing to print something "as is?" What if there are errors? What if the manuscript could really benefit from editing? Sure, it might be selling okay, but if it could sell better with the right changes, is that even possible?

Publishers are very unlikely to want to publish an unedited manuscript. And of course it's possible.

gothicangel
01-02-2012, 04:02 PM
Going with Hocking as an example, her Trylle books are being put out (starting this month), by Macmillan. They've been edited, with new material added, IIRC, so they aren't identical to the versions available when she had them up for sale herself.

Thanks for the heads up. I'm going to buy my sister one for her birthday.

bearilou
01-02-2012, 04:43 PM
Haha! Am I writing a research paper or just fielding a question on a forum? Man, it's like you sit around in an armchair waiting on someone dumber than you to come along so you can leap up and beat them with your cane. I didn't mean any offense; I promise!

The problem is the moment someone chimes in with 'a majority of', 'many have', 'plenty of', 'there was a writer who' with no links or statistics or names or figures to back it up.


If you're curious about this, why not Google instead of berating me? I'm honestly here wondering about something and some of you are giving great answers, the rest of you seem like you're angry that I even exist!

Um...if you're the one throwing all these facts and figures at us, it really falls to you to back it up. It shouldn't be dumped on us to back you up. Honestly, that's a disingenuous tactic in a discussion. And it makes some here cranky.



If you want actual titles or author names. . .

snip



Thank you for that. I keep hearing about these mythical creatures that sell tons of selfpub books in these discussions and never even manage to get a name most of the time. Just 'lots of authors are' and 'they' and 'them'. Now I have new authors to check out! I love to read new things!



I just came across the thread that made me think of this in the first place. If anyone is interested in checking out the member that I was referring to (or his book, which is averaging 1,000 sales a day), here's his thread:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=231476

I think he deserves some mega-congratulations. And a few of you suggested that him taking an agent might be a poor monetary decision, and I think I understand what you mean. Which really goes a long way toward answering my original query.

Goes back to my point above. I knew exactly who you were referring to (and he does deserve well-earned congrats for his hard work and success). But it shouldn't have been up to us to dig up the link you were referring to. It was your example, it was your responsibility to provide it if you were the one to pull him into the discussion.


I've been looking at the selfpub angle for some smaller things I've been doing that I'm not really interested in getting representation for, to go back to your original discussion topic. I'd hate to think that while I'm subbing my main genre that the agent I'm looking at is crawling through the 'top 10/100/1000 best sellers' on Kindle/Kobe/Nook/Smashwords/Goodreads/whatever for something to represent. Why would I go to all that trouble to make it through the gatekeepers if they are going to jump their own gates? That takes time and I wasn't aware they had all that much disposable time.

Just feels like ambulance chasing to me.

areteus
01-02-2012, 05:26 PM
Another thing that needs to be mentioned here, the examples of self pubbed authors who have made it big are a very small minority. I think we have named all the ones I know of in this thread (all two of them). Just as I am only aware of one musician who has made it in the mainstream through You Tube (Justin Bieber, who may not even qualify as a musician in many definitions... other examples of 'number one hits' from You Tube are all cover versions of popular songs done by soldiers). The fact that we can name these individuals means that they are noteworthy because they did something unusual in the field.

I would therefore argue that there is a greater success rate for a well written book on a popular genre being pushed through the agent/publishers process than going the self published route and hoping for an agent to find them...

Cyia
01-02-2012, 09:07 PM
Thanks for the heads up. I'm going to buy my sister one for her birthday.


You're in the UK, aren't you? Tor Teen is putting them out over there. (And with better covers than the US version, IMO). I won a UK ARC, and while I haven't read it yet, it's pretty.

gothicangel
01-02-2012, 11:03 PM
You're in the UK, aren't you? Tor Teen is putting them out over there. (And with better covers than the US version, IMO). I won a UK ARC, and while I haven't read it yet, it's pretty.

The cover is beautiful.

My sister doesn't read much fiction [prefers non-fic] and I showed her the Amazon page. She loved the idea, so it's now on pre-order.

She works in Scotland over the summer [Steward for Historic Scotland] and in need of reading material. If she likes it, she'll snap up the rest too. :)

Irysangel
01-03-2012, 10:30 PM
There are a couple of agents that have 'scouts' trawling other self-publishing messageboards in search of authors looking for agents. And there are agents that look for blogs with big followings and get them coffee-table book deals. So there are agents out there that are looking at self-published fiction, but I think that the majority of agents still wait for authors to come to them and not the other way around.

Turndog-Millionaire
01-03-2012, 11:33 PM
I can certainly see more agents and publishers approaching writers in the future, not for the current book they have on sale, but for future ones. From a business point of view, a publisher is surly going to look at someone who can sell tens of thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of books on their own then the platform is there to sell even more in the future.

This is of course dependent on many things, but it should certainly make an agent/publisher take notice and have a read. If there writing is good, then what could they achieve with a pro editor and a good publisher. I know going from selling £2.99 ebooks to £9.99 paperbacks is a big difference, but with the weight a publisher can put behind it then this could be done.

Because sport has already been mentioned, i'll use it too. As a coach if you saw a young player in a lower league scoring 30+ goals you'd probably send a scout to check him out. Just because he's scoring doesn't mean he's good enough. But just because he got through the net in the first place doesn't mean he isn't either.

Matt (Turndog Millionaire)

Saint09
01-04-2012, 06:16 PM
I can certainly see more agents and publishers approaching writers in the future, not for the current book they have on sale, but for future ones. From a business point of view, a publisher is surly going to look at someone who can sell tens of thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of books on their own then the platform is there to sell even more in the future.

This is of course dependent on many things, but it should certainly make an agent/publisher take notice and have a read. If there writing is good, then what could they achieve with a pro editor and a good publisher. I know going from selling £2.99 ebooks to £9.99 paperbacks is a big difference, but with the weight a publisher can put behind it then this could be done.

Because sport has already been mentioned, i'll use it too. As a coach if you saw a young player in a lower league scoring 30+ goals you'd probably send a scout to check him out. Just because he's scoring doesn't mean he's good enough. But just because he got through the net in the first place doesn't mean he isn't either.

Matt (Turndog Millionaire)

Sports is a decent analogy. Only difference is that even in sports, you still have to "pass the test", "make the team" so to speak. Players going to the pros had to be good enough to make a college team. Players on a college team had to be good enough to be recruited and offered a scholarship out of high school. It's not until you get down to the Jr. High level where you got to play simply because you wanted to. And even then, you may have been a backup.

In self-publishing there is no filter. You don't have to have won writing awards or any other writing experience. It'd be like sport scouts hitting up their local playground to watch some guys play a pickup game.

But you are dead on with the goal scoring. If there's an indie eBook out there that has numbers above and beyond, I have no doubt that agents do look...and I'd think some of these success stories have and do get contacted by agents.

Torgo
01-04-2012, 06:26 PM
If they are already successful w/o an agent, why would you purposely find someone to take 10% of your earnings when you're doing pretty well on your own?

Because you then have to sign a complicated contract with a publishing house and you need an expert to look after your interests.


And, let's say an agent goes to an epublished author and says, "okay, let's get you a print deal." Would they have to accept the manuscript(s) as is? Or could they ask for edits?

If the agent (or the print publisher) wants edits as a condition of representation (or publication), then it's up to the author to decide whether to sign up to that.


Are publishing houses willing to print something "as is?" What if there are errors? What if the manuscript could really benefit from editing? Sure, it might be selling okay, but if it could sell better with the right changes, is that even possible?

As an editor I would always want to copyedit something like this, if it's never been past a copyeditor. It would certainly get proofed. There might well be bigger problems that would be good to fix, though you could run into problems if there's an unedited version of the book already out there with an established fan base - you might want to avoid making really big changes.

quicklime
01-04-2012, 06:38 PM
I've often wondered why agents don't flip the old game of waiting for the right book to come to them, and instead spend time searching for the book they want to represent. E-books now make this possible. Not only can they scour the bestselling lists, they can read reviews to get market research, and read a sample to gauge writing style/quality.

It seems this only happens with authors who sell in the millions, which leaves a ton of room to grab authors who sell in the hundreds of thousands.

Except, I read in a back-and-forth between two writers that they had e-book queries rejected because the book was assumed to have "run its course." And of course, the book sales continued to grow.

Is it fear? Snootiness? Or is this a case of dinosaurs trying to make sense of these upstart shrews?


well, at least you aren't trying to start the ball rolling with inflammatory or leading questions.... :Shrug:



Agents have clients. they also have lots of wannabe clients who are sending them short pitches, letting them cover a lot of ground faster by going through a couple dozen queries in a day than picking one random novel from the ginormous sea of e-books every 1-2 weeks.

this traditional, dinosaur-laden method also lets them chase NEW products, instead of the chance to try re-selling something already out there. Yes, in your 2-author sampling, I would hope their sales continued to grow....but agents have to pitch to publishing houses, and convince them to invest thousands of dollars on a print run. For the risk-averse (publishing houses aren't run by trust-fund brats), "run its course", at least in terms of running it to where there is a good chance they won't recover their initial investment, is a very real concern.



Agents do what they do how they do it because, amazingly, they like to pay their mortgage--if there was a better business model for making ends meet, they wouldn't turn their noses up at it out of the elitism you seem to be suggesting, or because they are too old and crusty to keep up with the times...

Toothpaste
01-04-2012, 06:49 PM
I always find it odd when people diss agents by calling them old fashioned or whatever because from my experience agents are the ones on the forefront, keeping up to speed with all latest developments.

A big example is their current fight to change what "out of print" means in contracts now with publishers. Seeing as ebooks can technically never go out of print, when do rights revert to the author? They have been trying to get "out of print" to be defined now as a certain number of copies sold in a year. If it's less than that, over a specified period of time, then the author gets her rights back.

I also had lunch with several members of one agency, and was next to a new "agent" they had just hired. Her former job was in IT, and her role was to help clients and the agency forge ahead in this "brave new world".

Agents aren't idiots. In fact they are the ones most quickly moving with the times. I'd argue publishers need to pick up a bit more speed (but they'll get there, there will be a lot of heartache that might have been avoided had they not been quite so stubborn, but contrary to the opinion of the self publishing gurus who are already dancing on their graves, they ain't going anywhere), and that they are making lots of mistakes right now. At the same time, publishers are still making tons of money, and tons of it from ebook sales so . . .

At any rate. My point is, agents aren't stupid. Nor are they dinosaurs. Most agents are actually quite young and savvy.

Jennifer_Laughran
01-04-2012, 07:05 PM
Oh good god. When I think about the number of client manuscripts I have to read (two in two days, and obviously these come first)

Added to the number of manuscripts I have to read that have been referred to me by trusted friends and colleagues... (at least six, all of whom deserve answers THIS WEEK and may or may not get them)

and then add to that the number of people who have submitted queries, literally hundreds since last I cleared the inbox, a week ago... (AAHHHH)

then add to that the number of auction critiques that a charitable me donated but now I actually have to do them (3)

and then add to that the amount of regular work I have to do (!!!)

There is just no way. NO. WAY.

If one of these self-pubbed folks with great numbers thinks I'd be a good fit for their work, I invite them to query me, and I'd be very happy to take a look. But chase after them? No thanks.

quicklime
01-04-2012, 07:33 PM
If one of these self-pubbed folks with great numbers thinks I'd be a good fit for their work, I invite them to query me, and I'd be very happy to take a look. But chase after them? No thanks.


you never came out and clarified, though...is this because you are snooty, afraid, or inflexible? :tongue

Turndog-Millionaire
01-04-2012, 07:56 PM
Sports is a decent analogy. Only difference is that even in sports, you still have to "pass the test", "make the team" so to speak. Players going to the pros had to be good enough to make a college team. Players on a college team had to be good enough to be recruited and offered a scholarship out of high school. It's not until you get down to the Jr. High level where you got to play simply because you wanted to. And even then, you may have been a backup.

In self-publishing there is no filter. You don't have to have won writing awards or any other writing experience. It'd be like sport scouts hitting up their local playground to watch some guys play a pickup game.

But you are dead on with the goal scoring. If there's an indie eBook out there that has numbers above and beyond, I have no doubt that agents do look...and I'd think some of these success stories have and do get contacted by agents.

This is very true, there has to be a reason to go scouting in the first place. The E-Market will forever be full of crap as long as it's so easy to get things on to it. Which will be forever, because Amazon etc will make money from it.

But success is success, so i do hope that Agents take notice more and more in the future because it could become like the Minors.

It certainly makes things interesting going forward

Matt (Turndog Millionaire)

Perks
01-04-2012, 08:10 PM
you never came out and clarified, though...is this because you are snooty, afraid, or inflexible? :tongue

Duh, she's a literary agent. There's not a pharmaceutical cure for that, ergo, she's all three.

Maryn
01-04-2012, 10:50 PM
I believe there was humor involved there. I laughed out loud at quicklime's question.

Maryn, great sense of humor (blind date code for 'fugly')

Medievalist
01-04-2012, 11:21 PM
Duh, she's a literary agent. There's not a pharmaceutical cure for that, ergo, she's all three.

Plus she has a seriously cute dog!

ETA: No, really! I give you Moxie.

http://lockerz.com/s/92401175

Perks
01-05-2012, 12:32 AM
I believe there was humor involved there. I laughed out loud at quicklime's question.

Maryn, great sense of humor (blind date code for 'fugly')
Eeep! I was just funnin', too! I'm sure Ms. Laughran is a fine, stable, upstanding member of her community.

Jennifer_Laughran
01-05-2012, 02:47 AM
you never came out and clarified, though...is this because you are snooty, afraid, or inflexible? :tongue

Do I have to pick ONE? ;-)

Maryn
01-05-2012, 02:58 AM
Who'd have thought this would be the day's funny thread?

Since it's you, Jennifer, you may select two.

Maryn, magnanimous

quicklime
01-05-2012, 05:31 PM
Do I have to pick ONE? ;-)


of course not; you're involved in "the arts". :-p

writingnewbie
09-18-2013, 01:30 PM
I hope it's okay to bump this old thread. But if an agent can land a hot selling ebook, it could be beneficial for both.

For example,

http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/tracey-garvis-graves-inks-7-figure-deal-for-self-published-romance_b53028


Self-published novelist Tracey Garvis Graves landed a two-book deal with Penguin Group’s Plume imprint, and she said the deal is for “seven figures, a good seven figures.” Fourteen literary agents rejected the book before the author decided to self-publish her debut romance, On the Island.

Since she self-published in March, Graves has sold 340,000 copies of the book and broke into the New York Times bestseller list. Literary agent Jane Dystel negotiated the deal with executive editor Jill Schwartzman.

Terie
09-18-2013, 02:58 PM
I hope it's okay to bump this old thread. But if an agent can land a hot selling ebook, it could be beneficial for both.

Well, yeah. That's why agents are landing hot-selling self-pubbed e-books. This isn't the first case; it's just another in a string of cases.

Sheryl Nantus
09-18-2013, 03:57 PM
Well, yeah. That's why agents are landing hot-selling self-pubbed e-books. This isn't the first case; it's just another in a string of cases.

Yep. Nothing new here.

*yawns*

gingerwoman
09-18-2013, 05:06 PM
I've often wondered why agents don't flip the old game of waiting for the right book to come to them, and instead spend time searching for the book they want to represent. E-books now make this possible. Not only can they scour the bestselling lists, they can read reviews to get market research, and read a sample to gauge writing style/quality.

It seems this only happens with authors who sell in the millions, which leaves a ton of room to grab authors who sell in the hundreds of thousands.

Except, I read in a back-and-forth between two writers that they had e-book queries rejected because the book was assumed to have "run its course." And of course, the book sales continued to grow.

Is it fear? Snootiness? Or is this a case of dinosaurs trying to make sense of these upstart shrews?
Actually they do all the time now from what I've heard. I found it kind of annoying because I heard publishers were turning down romance novels pitches from agents that hadn't already been self published and made a lot of money. That is annoying to me because I don't have the upfront money for proper editing etc... for self publishing.
Anyway I keep hearing about agents and publishers making offers to self published books selling decently not millions. It depresses me actually I don't have money to spend on doing things that way.

Old Hack
09-18-2013, 05:22 PM
Actually they do all the time now from what I've heard. I found it kind of annoying because I heard publishers were turning down romance novels pitches from agents that hadn't already been self published and made a lot of money.

Publishers have always turned down submissions. They do so because they don't think the books will sell well enough, not because the books haven't already proved themselves saleable.


That is annoying to me because I don't have the upfront money for proper editing etc... for self publishing.
Anyway I keep hearing about agents and publishers making offers to self published books selling decently not millions. It depresses me actually I don't have money to spend on doing things that way.

Most books that agents take on have not already been self published.

Most books that publishers sign up are unpublished.

Just keep writing the best books you can, and submitting them appropriately.

gingerwoman
09-19-2013, 03:35 AM
I've yet to even try the agent route myself except for one pitch once to someone I met at a conference. I just submitted to publishers direct. My novel goes to print in November, but yes it's not a print run.
So I wonder if maybe some day I should try the agent route, but then I read stuff like that. It was coming from two very successful agents who said the only big deals they were getting in romance were for previously self published books that had already sold like hotcakes. Things are changing although as you say Old Hack things probably won't ever change completely. Some deals will still happen in a traditional way, and others will happen in a new way.


I've often wondered why agents don't flip the old game of waiting for the right book to come to them, and instead spend time searching for the book they want to represent. E-books now make this possible. Not only can they scour the bestselling lists, they can read reviews to get market research
lol at "reading reviews to get market research". Reviews are very subjective. The most popular authors the world all have one star reviews on Amazon.

gingerwoman
09-19-2013, 03:57 AM
This is very true, there has to be a reason to go scouting in the first place. The E-Market will forever be full of crap as long as it's so easy to get things on to it. Which will be forever, because Amazon etc will make money from it.


If you mean the self published market you should say that please not the "E-Market."
Everything is in E-book Stephen King novels published by Hachette are in ebook, and Margaret Atwood published by Bloomsbury is in E-book. And then there are all the digital first lines that are also owned by big publishers and heavily edited.
Sorry it's just a misuse of terms people do continually, and that I find very annoying.



[QUOTE=CrastersBabies;6866600]If most ebooks I found weren't riddled with grammatical errors, bad spelling and poor craft, I might (as a reader) take them more seriously. I don't. Right now, it's a dot.com trend that people are jumping on in hopes of becoming the next discovered author that makes bank. Amazon sure isn't complaining. :)
Can we PLEASE stop using the term "Ebook" to mean self published because it does not does not does not.

Coupland
09-19-2013, 09:07 PM
Some agents do read with an eye for possible clients, but they read literary journals where there's a barrier to entry not self-pub ebooks.

gingerwoman
09-22-2013, 08:08 AM
I've often wondered why agents don't flip the old game of waiting for the right book to come to them, and instead spend time searching for the book they want to represent. E-books now make this possible. Not only can they scour the bestselling lists, they can read reviews to get market research, and read a sample to gauge writing style/quality.

It seems this only happens with authors who sell in the millions, which leaves a ton of room to grab authors who sell in the hundreds of thousands.

Except, I read in a back-and-forth between two writers that they had e-book queries rejected because the book was assumed to have "run its course." And of course, the book sales continued to grow.

Is it fear? Snootiness? Or is this a case of dinosaurs trying to make sense of these upstart shrews?
To answer the OP's original question what is actually happening now is that SOME very popular agents, rather than "scouring" anything which would be time consuming are simply openly, publicly expressing their interest in self published authors with decent sales, and making public announcements for such authors to consider contacting them if they want representation.

bearilou
09-22-2013, 03:45 PM
I suppose what bothers me (one of the many of the constant perpetuation of misinformation out there) is this 'some agents', 'a few top agents', 'a couple of very well known agents' keeps getting tossed around.

No names. Just vagaries. I immediately side-eye any information that comes in the form of cagey 'I don't want to be specific'. I get that someone doesn't want to out anyone but really. If the information is already out there, out for specific people, then I'm not sure why the reticence to at least provide links. Where did someone say this?

gingerwoman
09-23-2013, 02:59 PM
http://www.chatslang.com/images/shortcuts/yahoo_messenger/rolling_eyes.gif Considering that I myself am NOT self published at ALL (my début novel is with Samhain Publishing) I have no agenda in this thread. I was just being accurate, and I thought it might be somehow considered rude to mention names, but fine I meant Kristen Nelson and Steven Axlerod. Read their blogs,

KTC
09-23-2013, 03:51 PM
My agent got a 6-figure 3-book deal for an author who she discovered by reading one of her self-pubbed e-books. That e-book was one of the 3-book series that was published in the deal. It was pulled from the shelf and edited by the big six that bought it and re-issued.

Anything can happen. Never say never. I know this thread started way back when, but times have changed since it began. Times always change.

bearilou
09-23-2013, 04:02 PM
http://www.chatslang.com/images/shortcuts/yahoo_messenger/rolling_eyes.gif Considering that I myself am NOT self published at ALL (my début novel is with Samhain Publishing) I have no agenda in this thread. I was just being accurate, and I thought it might be somehow considered rude to mention names, but fine I meant Kristen Nelson and Steven Axlerod. Read their blogs,

No need to roll your eyes at me. I was curious who exactly was saying this because I do like to keep up with things like this. Staying informed and all that. Can't stay informed if there I have nothing to see for myself and yeah, I am quite wary of anyone who wants to start the 'well I know someone who knew someone who said they overheard' because it usually ends up perpetuating some myth not based in facts.

Considering I hadn't come across this being said but only people alluding to it, I wanted to know.

Now I know, so thank you.

Wilde_at_heart
09-23-2013, 09:40 PM
My agent got a 6-figure 3-book deal for an author who she discovered by reading one of her self-pubbed e-books. That e-book was one of the 3-book series that was published in the deal. It was pulled from the shelf and edited by the big six that bought it and re-issued.

Anything can happen. Never say never. I know this thread started way back when, but times have changed since it began. Times always change.

But did your agent discover her passively, or was this self-published author also actively querying?

KTC
09-23-2013, 09:44 PM
But did your agent discover her passively, or was this self-published author also actively querying?

Like I said, my agent read the ebook, loved it and approached the author. She did this with two authors, actually. Both are NA. Both got substantial 3 book deals. (-:

Wilde_at_heart
09-23-2013, 10:51 PM
Like I said, my agent read the ebook, loved it and approached the author. She did this with two authors, actually. Both are NA. Both got substantial 3 book deals. (-:

I guess what I meant was, how did she come across it to begin with? Did she look specifically for 'hot' e-books as the OP suggested, or did someone recommend it to her, etc."

Torgo
09-23-2013, 11:24 PM
I guess what I meant was, how did she come across it to begin with? Did she look specifically for 'hot' e-books as the OP suggested, or did someone recommend it to her, etc."

I've seen books acquired both ways. We are watching the charts; now and again, the editor or sales dept notices something is popping, and we might explore acquiring it.

The classic example of the other way is Fifty Shades - the editor who picked it up was actually way the hell over in the USA, and she overheard gossip at the school gates while she was picking her kids up. It was only when she investigated it that she discovered how it was doing in sales. But then if someone's recommending it, or you're overhearing that sort of thing, it implies it's already selling to a lot of people. You'd have to be astronomically lucky for that school-gates conversation to happen if you'd only sold ten copies of your book.

I don't want to stress the primacy of the charts, though, because I always have two things in the back of my mind when I look at them for these kinds of purposes. First, I worry that if a book's sold, say, 10K copies before we acquire it, then those are 10K sales we'll never see.

Obviously, our whole proposition is that we ought to be able to publish the book more effectively - we get more sales, so you see more money even though we take a bigger share. Again, with Fifty Shades, Random picked it up and brought the scale of a global publishing house to bear on it, and sold more copies than the small press that originally had it could shift in years. But then I've also seen books acquired, polished, and marketed from strong ebook chart positions, and they've kind of fallen flat. Is that because everyone interested bought it already?

Second, I worry that the charts are horribly opaque. Publishers aren't privy to retailer data - we can't tell how many books are sold by anyone else. With print, I can dial up Nielsen and see roughly how my competitors' books are doing. (Though I can't see some sales - coeds, clubs, institutions etc. aren't available.) I can't with digital. All I get are the relative rankings the charts provide, and whatever insight I can get by comparing my known variables - like my own book sales - with them.

So I don't really know how many books these indie guys are selling, at least until the retailer decides to disclose them for marketing purposes. I look at books I've published that have spent time in the iBookstore charts, and I compare the actual sales, and I conclude that you don't have to sell loads of copies to chart. Then, because I have a slight flaw in my character, I begin to contemplate the fact that I, as a digital publisher, am watching this particular chart for prospects; and that any chart which is sensitive to relatively small movements is susceptible to being manipulated fairly cheaply. So I start to wonder whether it would be a rational strategy to mess with the charts in order to attract a publisher, who will then pay you an advance, and job done. (Amazon's harder, because it has 8x the market, of course.)

Then I say to myself, Torgo, you're being paranoid! Indie authors would never try to game things like that! But what's undeniable is that the charts are a black box. I love statistics, but I can't really inspect them here; so I don't want to make commissioning decisions leaning too solely on this stuff.

That's not to say it's irrational to try to acquire an Amanda Hocking or a Hugh Howey. It's just that my commissioning agenda would never be "acquire the top 10 self-published authors, then AOB."

Wilde_at_heart
09-24-2013, 01:33 AM
That's a good point - those thousands of people are unlikely to buy the book again. Also as someone else mentioned, it's a lot easier to move a lot of books if you give half of them away or sell the bulk of them for a dollar or two.

I'd think the charts might be a useful indicator of what's 'hot', or getting a read on the current zeitgeist, but ultimately as you point out, there's always more pressing business at hand.

gingerwoman
09-24-2013, 05:56 AM
No need to roll your eyes at me. I was curious who exactly was saying this because I do like to keep up with things like this. Staying informed and all that. Can't stay informed if there I have nothing to see for myself and yeah, I am quite wary of anyone who wants to start the 'well I know someone who knew someone who said they overheard' because it usually ends up perpetuating some myth not based in facts.

Considering I hadn't come across this being said but only people alluding to it, I wanted to know.

Now I know, so thank you.
I apologize. :Hug2:

bearilou
09-24-2013, 04:08 PM
I apologize. :Hug2:

:Hug2: Thanks!