Saturday, April 6, 2013

Self Publishing Success

I'm always happy to hear when someone has success self-publishing their book. Too often there are tales of woe that involve class action lawsuits. I want writers to make money writing.

I'm doing some research on the topic currently. One thing I did today (for fun question mark) was look up all the deals on Publishers Marketplace that used the keywords "self published".

Between today and May 2012, there were 56 sales of self published authors' work to a larger house* listed on Publishers Marketplace.

The genres broke down as follows^:

You can see that, by far, the largest genre was "Women's Fiction/Romance." That is the category PM uses, I wish I knew which was more romance-y and which were more women's fiction-y. Would even like to know how often they could be described as "erotica."

And the "new adult" were sometimes listed in this category as well, but I plucked them out since my own interest is in young adult/new adult/middle grade. I was sad to see there weren't any middle grade sales on there.

Next I have a chart showing which houses were buying these books:


... and the winner is Amazon! I found this strange since, well, you can sell your books on Amazon yourself. The reason you sign a traditional deal--in my mind at least--is to get your books in bookstores, but Amazon doesn't have a great track record there.

Hachette and S&S are next (and, to be fair, S&S has had some problems getting books in bookstores lately too).

I am surprised Random House's slice of the pie is relatively small, since they are the biggest publisher in the US and they already know how self published titles can take off--they have 50 Shades of Grey. 

*I left out sales of foreign, audio or film rights because they didn't fit neatly into my pie chart. 

^Sometimes it was hard to tell if something was "women's fiction/romance" or "young adult" or "new adult" since the lines are blurry. If the phrase "new adult" or the fact that the main character was in college was listed in the deal announcement, I put it as new adult. 

& That publisher you can't read at all underneath "Harper Collins" at the bottom is "Macmillan" with 1. 

That's what I have. What am I missing? Please tell me there's more YA/MG sales success stories I don't know about!  

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