Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Comment to Janet Reid’s Hard Numbers piece

Janet Reid, US agent with sharp teeth, wrote a “hard numbers” piece in her blog:

It starts (forgive me for lifting a few lines – my comments won’t make any sense to anyone otherwise):

“Wednesday, October 24, 2012

some hard numbers

My query in-box has a new category these days: authors who've self published with the goal of a larger publisher noticing.  There have been some amazing stories in the news about authors who've done just that.
We watch those stories very carefully of course.  We're in this biz for money, not love, and if there's a place to find projects we can sell, you bet we're there.  If you're thinking of doing this, here's what to consider:  
1. To get noticed, you have to sell a lot of books. By a lot I mean more than 20,000.
If this number doesn't daunt you, ask yourself this question: have you ever sold 20,000 units of anything?  
If the answer is yes, ask this next question:  
Have you sold something to 20,000 people, one by one?  
If you self publish you are no longer just the author, you're the salesperson for your book. Do you have any experience selling?...”

Seeking clarification regarding what she deems significant, I wrote a comment to that piece that I reproduce here because I think it may have gone AWOL:

“The Agent Game retweeted your link to this. Query. Are the units sold e-books, hardbacks, paperbacks? At what price? I’m curious to see how you rate a smaller sum sold (in UK) as I have? I’ve hand-sold at signings 7,936 of my first book, an illustrated nonsense quest story, putting £118,960 through tills (of approaching 9,000 sold all told). 2,642 at signings of second Gothic ghost tale (£26,393 thro. tills) of nearly 3,000 all told. ie. 10,578 or £164,880 sold at signings. I collect 42.5 - 60% list depending on distribution method, but have to organize and pay for printing and warehousing. £15 book cost £1.75 per unit on 2,000 run including delivery to UK warehouse from China. £10 book cost £1,32 per unit on 2,000 run. Gardners wholesalers take from 300-1,000 at a time, saving some warehousing costs. Sold transl. rights for first book now to South Korea, Israel and this week to China. Have nice reviews from a political philosopher, educationist (UK Literacy Award winner), writer/broadcaster (winner of BBC Radio drama award this year), a Book of Year for Lovereading4kids website. My SP co. is a member of the IPG and PA in UK, receives UKTI grants to exhibit at international book fairs (Frankfurt & Bologna - but neither this year – terms became tougher). My company represented by Big Apple, Amo (Korea) and Ilustrata (Sp./Po). A lot of effort quite apart from the writing. I do this in my spare time when not illustrating for several publishers (adult non-fiction cutaways, 3D battlemaps – science through to archaeology). Now have UK agent. Shatzkin wrote he would have said beforehand what I have done is impossible and urged me to find US agent ASAP. I also illustrate for architects and developers incl. one several times winner of World Architect of Year. Previous careers in newspapers as photographer then graphic journalist – graphics ed. of Daily Telegraph (UK national) winning 19 international awards incl. UK Press Awards, Graphic Artist of Year (winner 3x and runner-up 2x) and quite a few of your US SND awards.”

This is not intended as any sort of boast, but posted to discover just what she means by significant.
It will deleted as soon as she responds here, if she does, to affirm she did receive my comment.
Have to ring off – blinded by a migraine..

See newer post for more detail on what I have managed on my own:;postID=7845014395628244484

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