3.19.2007

19-a prime number gone bad

Dear Miss Snark,

I wrote a really great book, sent out a bunch of queries, but inexplicably had no luck landing an agent. I decided to self-publish as an interim step on my path to fame and fortune. Sales have been extremely strong --- 19 copies sold in only eight months! Since these sales figures prove my book has the potential to be a huge commercial success, I’m going to highlight the numbers as I begin to query agents once again.

Here’s my question: Should I leave out the fact that it was me that bought all 19 copies?

no no. You want to make sure the agent knows you're fully committed to the marketing of your book.

10 comments:

Manic Mom said...

Is 19 copies in eight months really that good? (and since I'm proficient in math, isn't that around two books a month, or one book every two weeks?)

Or was this whole thing supposed to be humorous? I seriously don't know?

Anonymous said...

The sequel to "Space Ark" no doubt...

Anonymous said...

Manic Mom, I'm guessing the question was meant to be humorous, but you never know, I suppose.

jamiehall said...

I'm pretty sure this was meant to be a joke, too. I've been immersed in the self-publishing world (yes, I got sucked in at one point, but now I'm out) and I rarely heard anyone boasting about selling less than 200 copies. Yes, plenty of books sold less, but either the authors knew it wasn't much, or they were enthusiastic about their progress but were reluctant to quote actual numbers until you dragged it out of them.

angrylil'asiangirl said...

what a hilarious question. seriously cracked me up.

Wassup said...

Thanks for my hearty chuckle of the day. :-D

Renee Luke said...

This isn't real. This can't be real. Miss Snark, are you puttin' up a funny-funny? LOL.

I'm guess (rather, I'm hoping) this is a joke.

Kim Stagliano said...

19? Good start, but I'm guessing the writer was never a Girl Scout selling those cookies. Come on, man! You should have sales of well over 37 copies by now. Find the nearest kid in a green beret and get some sales tips (which means hit up your mom, your Dad and EVERYONE in their offices.) Funny, funny, funny post, Miss S! Thanks for the laugh.
icky wordver: ooooz uxi as in "If I ooze uxi please call a doctor."

Emily Veinglory said...

I have a stabbing pain in my grossly under-used satire-centre (between the hypothalamus and the irony node at approximately the place I would reach if I stabbed a sharpened pencil right up my nose).

Yes, people to brag about selling 200. : / I have also had ebook writers say that they have been assured they did very well in selling less than 20 copies of their first novel in the first six months or so.

Marion Gropen said...

I'm guessing that this person published using an online/POD/self-publishing company. This is NOT self-publishing. And it makes selling significant numbers of books very much more unlikely.

While there are a number of good reasons not to self-publish, it is perfectly possible to sell tens of thousands of copies of a decent book. That, however, requires that you actually publish it well.

Publishing anything well, as a beginner, requires that you have significant resources (either lots of money, or a little money and lots of talent, plus lots of time either way), and that you be good at running a business. Most would-be self-publishers don't meet those criteria.

For an example of those who published well, consider the case of Eragon (before they sold out to Knopf), or the Passporter series of travel books, or Lonely Planet's beginnings, or . . . .