A couple weeks ago I posted a comment (found here) to what I posted on Critique Circle about deciding to publish with She Writes Press. Wednesday I spoke with Brooke Warner from She Writes Press and received her response to that comment, as follows:
This is a fascinating analysis given that it presumes that Amazon is the only retailer we sell to. Of course, it is not. Amazon accounts for about 40% of our sales. The other 60% comes from bookstores, specialty sales, direct sales, libraries, foreign sales, and elsewhere.
The number of assumptions this person makes is beyond me, honestly. It shows such a lack of understanding of the book marketplace that it’s almost astounding. To use means and averages in this way, and to include books that are pre-publication, obviously makes no sense. He’s basically asserting the final sales outcome based on data for books that haven’t been published yet. I appreciate how much work was put into the analysis, and yet the foundation is so faulty that it’s hard for me to detail all the things that are wrong with it.
But to start:
• Rank has little to do with actual sales. It represents click rate and doesn’t indicate how many actual “sell-through” copies an author gets.
• Average monthly revenue. Well, yes, if you’re including books that aren’t published yet, this number is going to be so off-base as to be meaningless.
• Average price: I don’t even understand this one. Our books sell for $16.95 (on average) and Amazon usually discounts by about 30%.
• Bookstore: I’m sorry, but what is this? Some sort of offshoot of Amazon?
So anyway, this sums up my feelings on an Amazon-only analysis of our program that has a huge reach beyond Amazon. Really interesting to me how myopic folks can be. In terms of “vanity,” it’s an outdated term. Vanity = service provider. We are not that. we are proudly hybrid: https://www.ibpa-online.org/page/hybridpublisher
I hope this helps.
When I spoke with Brooke, she was very up front with me that I could not expect to be a best-selling author. In fact, most of her authors might make back the likely $10,000 they would have to pay for publishing, marketing, printing, etc. Selling a book is an extremely competitive business. Plus, no one knows what is going to happen with the publishing industry, considering the presence of Covid-19.
Her honesty made me more comfortable than ever that I wanted to publish with She Writes Press.
More about the how and why of my decision in the next post.