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james1611
11-21-2006, 11:49 PM
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Dave.C.Robinson
11-23-2006, 04:19 AM
Looks good.

I took a quick look at the Breakneck books website, and while they do use POD technology they look more like a traditional small press than the kind of PODs most people are worried about. The no advances part is a definite negative, but given a very small press in their first year it can be understood.

james1611
12-04-2006, 06:57 PM
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J.S Greer
12-06-2006, 11:29 AM
Its important to note the difference between POD the technology, and POD the practice.

Small presses that use the POD technology are in no way self publishing.

Stormhawk
12-06-2006, 11:54 PM
Yes, but in this case, both are applicable, the tech and self-publishing.

Jeremy was a Lulu author before he started with Breakneck Book. His first book, The Didymus Contingency soared to great heights and has consistantly stayed at a great rating.

Lauri B
12-07-2006, 10:14 PM
I'm not sure I'd consider selling about 1,500 books over the course of a year and a half "soaring to great heights."

james1611
12-07-2006, 10:21 PM
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Lauri B
12-07-2006, 10:42 PM
James, tried to send you a pm but your box is full.

kwwriter
12-08-2006, 11:03 PM
I'm not sure I'd consider selling about 1,500 books over the course of a year and a half "soaring to great heights."

It's a marathon, not a race, when you're self pubbing. That's one of the beautiful things about it. Someone that "discovers" you as a new, fav author today or five years from now -- it doesn't matter -- your books are available to them and they will buy them if they love you, just like they buy any other author they love.

Stormhawk
12-08-2006, 11:55 PM
All I meant was (and I was tired when I did the other post, I only cliche when I'm tired) that it did a lot better than the majority of self-pubbed books.

James D. Macdonald
12-09-2006, 12:59 PM
considering Pod-dy Mouth's recent stats on book sales figures industry wide (at least for 2004), which stated that over 90% of books, industry wide, only sell 99 copies or less and very few beyond that will sell more than 500 copies, this really puts some perspective on this book's success so far.


Which is interesting, except that isn't what Pod-dy Mouth said.

First, those aren't the industry-wide sales numbers. Those are the sales numbers from Nielsen Bookscan, and Nielsen Bookscan is primarily interested in hardcovers. Nielsen Bookscan only covers about 70% of bookstores. Sales at 30% of bookstores aren't covered. It doesn't cover library sales. It doesn't cover Wal*Mart or any of the big-store discounters. It doesn't get textbooks or direct sales or internet sales or bookclub sales or foreign sales or the spinner down at the bus station. It makes no claims at all about paperbacks.

Next, Bookscan tracks ISBNs. That means that, for their purposes, two editions of the same title (or two bindings of the same title) are two different books. Any time the ISBN changes, they start counting all over again (and one title will have different ISBNs for mass market, audiobook, ebook, hardback, trade paperback, special editions, second editions, and so on).

When you hear someone say that the average book in the United States sells 500 copies, just remember one thing: you don't know that. It hasn't been established by any evidence.

Nielsen Bookscan is an interesting dipstick, but that's all it is: a dipstick.

How do you know what I'm telling you is true? Here's how: Pod-dy says that the stats are based on 1.2 million books sold in 2004. The Book Industry Study Group reported that there were 2.295 billion books sold in 2004. 1.2 million is a tiny percentage of 2.3 billion.

james1611
12-12-2006, 12:37 AM
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Lauri B
12-12-2006, 01:14 AM
James, you need to understand the difference between orders and sales. "Sales" through B&T and Ingram are NOT sales; they are orders from bookstores. Ingram's automated stock status is for orders from bookstores, NOT sales to people. That means that bookstores have ordered the book for their shelves; they can return it at any time. I will agree with you that Bookscan is only one indicator of a book's success, but when you are talking about a book that has only trade appeal (it isn't going to be used in classes, for example, so specialty sales to museum stores or teacher supply stores are generally going to be very small--especiall if there is NO sales force out there selling it), Bookscan gives a good 70% of the picture. Selling foreign rights to books is just that: selling the rights. You can't count copies of the books those foreign publishers have sold as an indicator of the success of the POD version. And I hate to tell you, James, but ALL trade bookstore sales are consignment sales; there's no such thing as nonreturnable in the booktrade--that means that until your book leaves the bookstore tucked in a happy readers's backpack, it's still ripe for returning by the bookstore to the wholesaler to the distributor, to the publisher.

Regarding Amazon sales figs, they really don't mean anything--it's a good indicator that there is interest in the book, sure ,but since it's published by a small publisher with little in the way of distribution, Amazon is likely the primary vendor, so of course his numbers will be high there.

I am really happy for this guy you are talking about--I'm happy when any author has success, because that's what it is all about--but I object to the way you use one person's mild success with POD to suggest that The Revolution is here. I also object to the insinuation that I don't know what I'm talking about. I do.
Good luck with your books.

james1611
12-12-2006, 02:10 AM
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veinglory
12-12-2006, 02:14 AM
I think this may be a case of a bias meeting an equal and opposite bias. All these statistic are suggestive at best, but a self-POD getting over 1000 sales within a year or two is, IMHO, a respectable and interesting acheivement.

Dave.C.Robinson
12-12-2006, 02:16 AM
It goes like this:

A book can be printed on an offset press or run off on an extremely high end laser printer. You can pay to have it done, or someone can pay you for the right to do it.

If they pay you this is good-- whether they use an offset press or a digital laser printer.

If you pay them this is bad-- again whether they use an offset press or a digital laser printer.

Different technologies apply to different economies of scale. In all circumstances it's appropriate to use whichever technology will provide the best return in number of copies produced per dollar expended. As long as the finished product is attractive and appropriately priced, that counts as a win.

All that matters is that you the writer don't pay for it. That's the publisher's job.

Lauri B
12-12-2006, 02:55 AM
I think this may be a case of a bias meeting an equal and opposite bias. All these statistic are suggestive at best, but a self-POD getting over 1000 sales within a year or two is, IMHO, a respectable and interesting acheivement.

Well said, Em--my bias is certainly showing through. I have no personal beef with Breakneck Books or James, and I don't think 1,500 copies of what is essentially a self-published novel is anything to sneeze at (nor, for the record, are James' sales--he's doing well for a POD book that's only been out for a couple of months). But if I were a novelist and wanted to do what is best for my book, reach the biggest audience, and be considered by other publishers for bigger projects, POD is not the way I'd go. I think I've been pretty clear about that and won't beat the dead horse any more than I have.

veinglory
12-12-2006, 03:02 AM
Oh, we have to pull out the deceased equines from time to time. "He's doing well for a POD book " sums it up pretty well IMHO. In a similar way some of my ebooks do well, for ebooks (I'm not quitting the day job). It's a fishes and ponds thing. Currently the POD pond is very very large but rather shallow and full of tiny fish with a few moderately sized ones hidden in the crowd. LOL. So long as you know the nature of the pond it's all good.

james1611
12-12-2006, 04:45 PM
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kwwriter
12-14-2006, 02:33 AM
Excellent discussion. Had me biting my nails even...

kill poet press
12-14-2006, 10:23 AM
Good info all around. I had three small poetry publishers make (small) offers. Ultimately I went POD and couldn't be happier. It's poetry so there's never going to be a windfall, but my first book is enjoying moderate success and I have three more books in the pipeline for release within the next few months. I'm building momentum as a self-publisher and now have three other authors I've taken on.

Once I have a little more revenue I will go with a printer, but till then things are fine in POD land for us. Just thought I would share another experience in this area. You can visit our site and see where we've come in the last few months. Things are going well, and most importantly, we're having a blast :)

http://www.killpoet.com

ResearchGuy
12-14-2006, 08:27 PM
...Once I have a little more revenue I will go with a printer, but till then things are fine in POD land for us. ... most importantly, we're having a blast :)

http://www.killpoet.com
Excellent! The book is probably not to my taste (the last poetry I read with any real interest was Milton's Paradise Lost, on which I wrote a term paper in college mumblemumble years ago), but it is good to see another example of POD well used and a new independent publisher underway.

Have you read Dan Poynter's book on self-publishing? Allow me to recommend it, as it is THE standard in the field, just out in a new edition, to help you move forward. You might also find Pete Masterson's Book Design and Production worth your attention if you want to expand your horizons. (You can probably buy it at a discount at Amazon, from an "Amazon Reseller." Poynter's book is probably available in any good bookstore, or of course from Amazon.)

--Ken

Silverhand
12-14-2006, 10:40 PM
Very interesting discussion, being that I am part of it. :)

Nomad, at what point in a POD publisher's career do they began to cater respect? Is it the point of offering advances? Or do they need to put up the sales before they can move to the next level of publishing?

I asked this same question, but from an author's perspective, in the "Novel" section.

PS - I want to add that every morning I come to work and look at my fellow author's amazon.com ranking. It seems that the three books that have been released by BNB are all doing mildly well. I hope the good numbers stay around for me. :)

Dave.C.Robinson
12-14-2006, 10:59 PM
Very interesting discussion, being that I am part of it. :)

Nomad, at what point in a POD publisher's career do they began to cater respect? Is it the point of offering advances? Or do they need to put up the sales before they can move to the next level of publishing?

I asked this same question, but from an author's perspective, in the "Novel" section.

PS - I want to add that every morning I come to work and let at my fellow author's amazon.com ranking. It seems that the three books that have been released are all doing mildly well. I hope the good numbers stay around for me. :)

A publisher earns respect by following one simple rule: money flows to the author. That's all it is. Technology doesn't matter. All that matters is that under no circumstances does money ever flow to the publisher from the author.

A publisher pays an advance and royalties (sometimes a very small advance but still an advance). They then distribute the books to the trade. They never ask an author to buy a book they've written.

It's simple.

james1611
12-15-2006, 01:49 AM
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kwwriter
12-16-2006, 02:35 AM
Yup, James. You're right. Good luck with the next Chron book.

Ralyks
12-20-2006, 01:15 AM
That's very good then. I've not had to pay for my book to be published and my copy was sent to me without charge.

Well, uh, even PublishAmerica can claim to do that. I think another addition should be--does not set an egregiously high cover price for your book and actually tries to promote it.

james1611
12-20-2006, 01:46 AM
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Ralyks
12-20-2006, 04:48 AM
Congrats, James. That sounds good. Did you use a POD "service" or a small press which is selective and happens to use POD technology?

james1611
12-20-2006, 07:37 PM
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RG570
12-20-2006, 09:36 PM
Hmm. . .I'm noticing a few, uh, similarities between most of their books. Why don't they just come out and say it? They'd probably sell more.

Anyway, I wonder if putting out an electronic version would help sales from these micropresses. I can't see how it would hurt. I'm kind of surprised they're not doing it already.

Silverhand
12-21-2006, 02:48 AM
Rg,

What do you mean you are seeing some similarities? Do you mean simlar to how PA operates? quality? lack of quality? good stories? good or bad covers?