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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)
Did any of you read the recent NY Times article on book sales in 2020? Here it is:

What Snoop Dogg’s Success Says About the Book Industry
What Snoop Dogg’s Success Says About the Book Industry - The New York Times
On the flip side, about 98 percent of the books that publishers released in 2020 sold fewer than 5,000 copies. “We sell pretty predictable things online,” said James Daunt, the chief executive ...
www.nytimes.com


Apparently big name book publisher published books didn't sell more then 5000 copies in 2020 and the ones that did were how-to books.

No wonder I'm broke. Apparently most writers should be after 2020.

Dee



Thread title edited. - Becca
 

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I blame it on video streaming during the pandemic. Why buy books when you can watch movies all month for under $10.00? Hopefully, people will run out of their favorite movie genre and come racing back to books!
 
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Many indie authors had a great year last year. People were reading more. Indies were ready, because we already focus on ebooks and edelivery and are priced low. Trad pub suffered--but not really--because they rely more on in person bookstore and paperback sales and they price their ebooks very high.
 

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Did any of you read the recent NY Times article on book sales in 2020? Here it is:

What Snoop Dogg’s Success Says About the Book Industry
What Snoop Dogg’s Success Says About the Book Industry - The New York Times
On the flip side, about 98 percent of the books that publishers released in 2020 sold fewer than 5,000 copies. “We sell pretty predictable things online,” said James Daunt, the chief executive ...
www.nytimes.com


Apparently big name book publisher published books didn't sell more then 5000 copies in 2020 and the ones that did were how-to books.

No wonder I'm broke. Apparently most writers should be after 2020.

Dee
2020 was my best year. 6 figures. So this is nonsense.
 

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I don't give a flying horseshoe about how many books I sell of each title per year... in the year of release, or otherwise, in places that these joints measure, like Nielsen Bookscan.

I care about how many dollars my complete catalogue puts into my bank account.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Many indie authors had a great year last year. People were reading more. Indies were ready, because we already focus on ebooks and edelivery and are priced low. Trad pub suffered--but not really--because they rely more on in person bookstore and paperback sales and they price their ebooks very high.
But are indie authors ever counted in articles like these? We are SO under the radar that whatever little forward advances we make while big name publishers have setbacks aren't even factored in.

Dee
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't give a flying horseshoe about how many books I sell of each title per year... in the year of release, or otherwise, in places that these joints measure, like Nielsen Bookscan.

I care about how many dollars my complete catalogue puts into my bank account.
I hear ya. ;D

Dee
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
2020 was my best year. 6 figures. So this is nonsense.
2020 was rough on me honestly. But again I know authors just like you who did great last year. And it's like was said earlier in the thread big name publishers are overpricing their books to squeeze out ever last cent and indie authors know the value of a dollar and that ever dollar (or $.99 to $2.99 that is ;D ) counts.

Dee
 
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Boo hoo. Trad pubs aren't pulling in the munificent sums they're entitled to. Tell you what, my fiscal year 2020-2021 wasn't as good as FY 2019-2020, but six figures in US dollars is six figures in US dollars. If the trad pubs are choking on the garbage they publish... Well, let me make a nice gin and tonic, sit on my veranda, and watch them drown in their own bile.
 

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The article says 98% of the books trad pubbers released sold less than 5000 copies. For many indies, 5000 copies would be a windfall. I guess it's a matter of scale. But still -- when trad pub is hurting, it doesn't necessarily mean it's a good portent for the rest of us. After all, they have marketing resources most indies just don't have, due to financial constraints. And still, some of the "hot new debut" books mentioned in the article only sold a few thousand copies, even with all that marketing and hype behind them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Boo hoo. Trad pubs aren't pulling in the munificent sums they're entitled to. Tell you what, my fiscal year 2020-2021 wasn't as good as FY 2019-2020, but six figures in US dollars is six figures in US dollars. If the trad pubs are choking on the garbage they publish... Well, let me make a nice gin and tonic, sit on my veranda, and watch them drown in their own bile.
Harsh. But okay.

Dee
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The article says 98% of the books trad pubbers released sold less than 5000 copies. For many indies, 5000 copies would be a windfall. I guess it's a matter of scale. But still -- when trad pub is hurting, it doesn't necessarily mean it's a good portent for the rest of us. After all, they have marketing resources most indies just don't have, due to financial constraints. And still, some of the "hot new debut" books mentioned in the article only sold a few thousand copies, even with all that marketing and hype behind them.
True that. Seems some indie authors are doing just as well proportionally with a Bookbub then the trad publishers are doing with all the marketing means they have behind them.

Dee
 
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But are indie authors ever counted in articles like these? We are SO under the radar that whatever little forward advances we make while big name publishers have setbacks aren't even factored in.

Dee
Of course they aren't. Because, as far as I can tell, there is no official data source to measure our sales.

Plus, when you're a journalist on deadline, the editors only give you so much space for the story, and to add the self pub dimension likely would have expanded the scope beyond the available space. If it were my beat at the paper, I would split the self pub trend into a separate article so I could give it more space and attention.
 

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I can't see the article without subscribing. I would bear in mind that the bulk of sales for trad-published books are in a market place where we don't swim, and that's in physical bookstores.

Isn't this more to do with bookstores not being able to open due to covid lockdowns? Also people not being able to work and having to be frugal for the same reason even with assistance $$$ and so have used the internet for purchases? Maybe many of those who bought physical books have switched to eBooks now.

If that is the case then it will have been a surprise to many the difference between indie published prices and trad-published prices, so more power and sales to the indie author which don't get recorded.

I've read other articles that mention many publishers have scaled down their publishing due to the effect covid has had in the market place. I've also read that literary agents have been unable to sell as many books and so have looked to freelancing services during covid.

It will be interesting to see if the market reverts to as it was in 2019 during 2921/22. Publishers are not charities. The figures mentioned of 5,000 average tells me that advances might just shrink to a level that many authors might just decide to self-publish, which would increase competition.
 

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Tor cancelled the majority of the mass market paperbacks for 2020. Mine was among the casualties. With book stores closed, conventions shut down, and readers on a tight budget, it was the perfect storm. Most avid readers I know have enough unread books on their shelves to last a least a year. Those who don't, order used books and excess inventory sold by online stores like Book Outlet. Indies did okay in the beginning. But even $3.99 can become too much an expense as time passes and bills mount.
I was hurt mainly due to my health. The pandemic struck the month my book came out with Tor. Which wouldn't have been a big deal. Book two for Tor was finished. And Book three wasn't due for a long time. I figured on slow traditional sales. But that's why I'm a hybrid. Then a botched surgery and two mrsa infections left me out of the game for months. No new indie books were forthcoming.
But even had none of this happened, people can't buy books with no money. As stores slowly opened, used book stores and thrift stores did great. And the books I have in KU produced steady income as did my audiobooks. Combined with advance money, I was lucky, despite my medical issues. Not everyone was.
It's easy as an indie to relish in the troubles the pandemic has caused traditional publishing. But you should take into account that indie isn't a path for everyone. Some could not survive in the indie world regardless their talent as a writer. They need what publishers have to offer. In the early days, the Big 6 (yes, that's how early we're talking) treated indies as if publishing was a zero sum game. It wasn't then and it's not now. If a publisher folds or signs fewer writers, indie profits don't rise. There are just fewer stories to enjoy. While viewing them as a corporate monster is easy. Meeting the dedicated people directly involved and witnessing the passion they have for their work, might change your mind.
 

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It's easy as an indie to relish in the troubles the pandemic has caused traditional publishing. But you should take into account that indie isn't a path for everyone. Some could not survive in the indie world regardless their talent as a writer. They need what publishers have to offer. In the early days, the Big 6 (yes, that's how early we're talking) treated indies as if publishing was a zero sum game. It wasn't then and it's not now. If a publisher folds or signs fewer writers, indie profits don't rise. There are just fewer stories to enjoy. While viewing them as a corporate monster is easy. Meeting the dedicated people directly involved and witnessing the passion they have for their work, might change your mind.
This. You can take issue with the problematic ways trad publishers operate without wishing hard times on the many voices that have found homes for their work there.
 

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For the first time ever, I spent most of my early 2021 leisure time gaming, not reading. This wasn't due to finances. Rather, as stressful stuff accumulated, I found books just were not distracting enough. I needed something more immersive. I'm only now getting back to reading, really. Maybe this kind of thing happened to others as well.
 

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For the first time ever, I spent most of my early 2021 leisure time gaming, not reading. This wasn't due to finances. Rather, as stressful stuff accumulated, I found books just were not distracting enough. I needed something more immersive. I'm only now getting back to reading, really. Maybe this kind of thing happened to others as well.
Just taking a guess. I'm not a psychologist. But perhaps lacking the direct interaction the quarantine prohibited and people in general crave, gaming filled that need better than a book. Also the control a player has over the direction things take fills another need.
Seriously, just taking a guess.
 
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