HomeArtBook Wars, Chapter Thirteen 1/2


Book Wars, Chapter Thirteen 1/2 — 3 Comments

  1. Ted, thanks for responding so elaboratedly to my meandering comment! You raise some really good points. And you’re right–Amazon could create a bookstore/tablet store that gets around the mammoth headache of returns, but only, as you suggest by using POD technology, which raises the price of a book from–let’s use round figures–$1 (offset) to $4. If a book is not known to be a good seller, then POD is an excellent workaround. But once something is selling at high numbers, it’s awfully tempting to switch to offset–which immediately introduces the problems you discuss, and which inevitably ends up in pulping.

    The #1 NYT bestseller published traditionally has a 2/3 sell through rate. From what I know, it can’t be any different. You print till it isn’t selling anymore and the best algorithm in publishing gets within a margin of 33 1/3%.

    Not great numbers–but perhaps better than tripling the cost with POD. EBM’s from what I know are even more expensive.

    Now Amazon has deep pockets and they could decide that avoiding pulping is better than getting the lowest cost per title printed. That kind of dollars and cents decision is way beyond me. And your point about only going with proven sellers is well taken, too, although again, I think the temptation to discover the next big thing is out there once the publishing waters have been entered.

    I’m with you in agreeing that mixing things up and seeing what results can only be a good thing. I adore bookstores, but would be happy to see them adopt a model by which authors don’t have such a limited time to make a big splash–3 weeks is a bit on the short side, but I’ve been told that 4-6 is par for the course now–and which is a little less labor intensive in terms of shipping and warehousing.

    I just hope books and bookstores remain for those who love ’em 🙂

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