Friday, January 27, 2006

A million little dollars

How about a quick P5 first:

(1) SUFFER IN SILENCE: 21,715 5
(3) GOLEM: 68,638 5
(4) CONVICTION: 83,777 6
(5) TECHNO-NOIR: 108,672 6


Okay, there is nothing little about a million dollars--even if it doesn't go as far as it used to.

However, it is extremely small if you split it up among the thousands of PublishAmerica authors.

Here is the latest from the PA management team (thanks to all those PA authors who passed this along to me):

"We have another milestone in our crosshairs: PublishAmerica is about to cross the "One Million Dollars Paid In Royalties" line. (Note: Why didn't they just wait until they had crossed the line to announce it??)

"Stop and imagine it for a moment: one million dollars that are finding their way to authors because others have decided to buy and read their books."

First of all, I don't know if crosshairs is as appropriate as short and curlies. One statistic curiously missing from the email is the number of authors in the PublishAmerica stable--which they never forget to mention. There can only be one reason for this: It makes division too easy.

$1,000,000 / 13,000 authors = $76.93 per author. But since they (like all publishers) probably have a handful of titles that comprise most of the sales, that is probably more like $10 per author--which when you factor in that it probably took a 1,000 hours to write the book in the first place, these authors have earned around one penny per hour for their labor.

Time to celebrate!

The real number worth noting is what PA has earned. Let's say the average price of a book is $20 (and I'm being conservative!) and the average royalty is $1.5 (again, conservative)--that means that PA has grossed around $18.5 million from these books. Not too shabby.

Though, sadly, not that great, either.

They would be much better off picking the top 50 - 100 books in their lineup--the ones that really standout--and starting a marketing department.

Of course, the email goes on to suggest authors buy their own books, blah, blah, blah--so nothing else new here. Like always.


Thanks for all the well wishes, everyone. They have made a huge difference. Also - I have a ton of new submissions from the interview on AbsoluteWrite, so give me some time to get through them all. I have over 500 new email waiting in my in box.

One other note: one more week delay in treasure. I'm just plain exhausted.