Friday, September 16, 2005

Friday Morning Sunshine (sometimes it's all you need.)

Yes, you pasty book lovers, get some sun and fresh air by joining us on the grand terrace of the Cafe.

And here is your P5 for early Friday, September 16th, 2005:

(1) SUFFER IN SILENCE: 17,236 5
(3) TECHNO-NOIR: 57,115 5
(5) DUCK BLOOD SOUP: 97,997 5

Some folks were wondering what kind of exposure a novel really gets by being reviewed by POD-dy Mouth. My usual response is this: does it matter? If your book gets in front of one person, it's a lot better than the zero or (-1) it was getting.

But, fair enough--here are some stats about what it is like wearing my shoes, or being me and going barefoot.

Average number of hits (unique visitors, as unique as they can really be) daily: 1,594 (roughly 50,000 monthly.)

Average number of (non-spam) emails I receive daily regarding this blog: 183.

Percentage of emails I read: 100%.

Percentage of emails I respond to: 15%.

Rest assured that my job is not easy. Imagine how long you might last if you actually had to sit and read this.

Perhaps the big news of the day is that PublishAmerica is going to accept returns! So much for the demand portion of the business model. In an email to their authors, they write: Many of our titles are already returnable. We have been running an experiment with an increasing number of our titles. It appears that once a bookstore has established a book's selling potential, and stocked the book, the store manager's decision is proven right: PublishAmerica books are competitive, high quality, reliably selling books. Therefore, as of next month, we are making all of our books returnable!

Pretty much ignore everything there except the part about returning books.

They go on . . .
Please bear with us as we must do this gradually, in order to enable our wholesaler Ingram to accurately activate the new status on roughly eleven thousand books that are currently in print, starting with the titles that are selling more than 40 copies in September.

Really what this means is who knows when your book will be returnable. I guess at $25 per paperback, they figure they can pay for some returns. But let's be real: People can't return what they do not buy, and bookstores do not (or at least try not to) buy books that have no audience. Does PublishAmerica have a sales team? I mean a vicious sales team? You cannot imagine how hard it is to sell books to bookstores, and to fight for a little space on those tables out front. I commend PublishAmerica for being the first of the POD publishers to accept returns with no charge/fee to the author; like it or not, they are the leader on this point. But the only way this will increase book sales is if someone is pounding the pavement--which, once again, will have to be the author.

Well, that's it for today. And next time I'll have more sun block on hand. Sorry about that.