3.08.2006

Well, here's an interesting tidbit

The Times also notes this interesting stat: "According to Publishers Weekly, of the 18,108 titles published by the American self-publishing company iUniverse in 2004, only 14 were on sale in Barnes & Noble and only 83 sold more than 500 copies."


(Stolen from Publishers Lunch of course; the source of all meaty morsels.)

15 comments:

Seneca the Younger said...

How many of those are the ones that iUniverse publishes internally, like all the Sun Microsystems ones?

termagant2 said...

So much for the idea that your iUniverse masterpiece will be "available" at all these brick-and-mortar sites, or even in their databases...

T2

Chesya said...

I wonder how many were fiction?

Mark said...

I doubt any.

waywardclam said...

Miss Snark, thanks again for this wonderful post. As a respected figure in this field, you are doing a WORLD of good preventing naive young writers from getting signed by these racketeers.

A similar statistic for you: I work in a Coles in Canada (mall format bookstore). We have 11,854 books listed in our database from PublishAmerica.

However, there isn't a single one actually ON the shelves in our store. Nor can I ever recall seeing one either as stock or a special order. This, despite the fact that we have appoximately a hundred thousand items in inventory.

Power to the (non-vanity) publishers!

Anonymous said...

Some are not intended to be available. There is a scholarly two volume iuniverse history of the region from where my family emigrated. This would never be widely published, but is much appreciated by its niche market.

Anonymous said...

I know of someone who published a mystery with iUniverse and received a review in Kirkus and claims to have a producer interested in adapting for film or TV. Are iUniverse books typically reviewed? If not, I wonder how this guy got one in Kirkus?

MJ said...

These numbers are incorrect. This is not a criticism of Miss Snark; there's no way she could know that they got it wrong. Thousands of iUniverse books have sold over 500 copies, but only 83 were chosen for the Star program. iUniverse CEO Susan Driscoll addressed this on Lee Goldberg's blog:
http://leegoldberg.typepad.com/a_writers_life/2005/06/iuniverse_ceo_s.html

Anonymous said...

I went to the Lee Goldberg site, and what I found -- as I would expect -- was not a refutation of the statistics, but a link to a Poddy Mouth interview of Susan Driscoll, and going to that site, I didn't see anything that disputes Miss Snark's figures. The link for the Poddy Mouth interview is http://girlondemand.blogspot.com/2005/06/mandatory-read-susan-driscoll.html

Debra Kemp said...

waywardclam said...

"Power to the (non-vanity) publishers!"

Here! Here! Even the ones that utilize print on demand technology. Not all of them charge fees like iUniverse, etc.

BuffySquirrel said...

Kirkus Discoveries review s/p books (for a fee). Not saying that is how the person got the review, but it's one way.

I suppose that, after paying to have the book printed, paying to have it reviewed seems like a logical next step.

Anonymous said...

I think those figures are about right and I'm an iUniverse author.

I am quite happy there though, to be honest. If my odds of success (i.e., selling out my first printing/making $ in royalities through iUniverse) are about the same as a mid-list traditionally published author, not to mention my chances of being plucked out of the slush pile in the first place, I'd rather be POD published. I have gone to book festivals, had book signings, gotten little articles about myself in the local paper, have school visits scheduled. I'm much happier now than when I was banging my head bloody against the mail box everytime a rejection arrived. And some of 'em were the good, nice, personal, keep submitting ones. And I am still submitting, but since I read Miss Snark and all the blogs and boards (and swill Bombay Sapphire in a pail), I keep my POD experience to myself when querying.

Pnin said...

Kirkus does not review self-published novels, (nor does any other reputable review publication) except through the Discoveries program, in which case you're paying $350.

Anonymous said...

The self-righteousness here is pretty dad-gummed intolerable.
Take those figures in the poddy-mouth interview. Six million MSS sailing around out there. 175,000 get traditionally published. That's about 3 percent. 83 Star Books out of 18,000 books published by iUniverse. 5 percent. The odds of success are not very good whichever way you try to go.

Anonymous said...

Previous Nonny:

You need to scroll down farther whan looking at mj's link to see the email from Susan Driscoll. Try this direct link.

[T]he number of iUniverse Star titles is 83 but the number of titles that have sold over 500 copies is many thousands. To qualify for the iUniverse Star program, authors must have sold 500 copies of their book, at least 50% of those through retail channels. If authors are committed to marketing their books and feel that the Star Program will help them enhance those marketing plans and increase book sales, they then apply. When considering titles, we ask the same key questions that every editor and traditional publisher asks. Is it good? Will it sell? But beyond that we only select the titles that we feel will benefit from the advantages of being in the program. You can see that there are many criteria-promising levels of retail sales, the author application and commitment, and careful consideration by the Star Review Board. That means that there are far fewer books that reach Star than that sell 500 copies.

I have no idea how true this is; just reporting what's been written.