Ever been SCARED?
Ever been NERVOUS?
Ever felt STOOOOOOOOOPID?
"Am I doing the right thing?"
A few authors that I respect very much have basically fore-warned me that PA is NOT the publisher to choose! Although I have carefully read and re-read the SAMPLE contract several times, and I DON'T like the SEVEN YEAR clause (they have exclusive right to sell) - the balance of everything else (except for the LOW royalty percentages) sounds really FAIR!
They take all the RISK of expense of publishing, ERGO you do NOT lay out any money! HOWEVER, you only get two (2) FREE copies of the book!
In order to actually MARKET the book, it is my understanding that the AUTHOR needs to personally convince local Booksellers to stock the book on their shelves!
In order to do this, common sense dictates that I will need to give each store at least ONE copy of my book, right? So the owner or manager can actually READ it, right?
This means that I must personally BUY my own book from PA (at a 20% discount off LIST price for the first 20 books, and 30% for 21 and higher).
Let's do the MATH:
Say I buy only 25 books to distribute. And the retail price is say $15.00 (I'm rounding off because I absolutely HATE that 99 or 95 cent BULL-CRAP)
LESS the 30%, or $4.50 = $10.50 X 25 = $262.50 - OKAY? Say $300.00.
Now, we all know the "trap" or the "catch" of VANITY publishers, right? Anybody can get any book published, no matter how CRAPPY it is - if they are VAIN enough to spend hundreds, or even thousands of dollars of their own money, correct?
So - laying out about $300 BUCKEROOS to hopefully get a FEW local merchants to stock your book doesn't sound half bad, does it? Anyway, that's my reasoning, or rationalization at this moment in time!
What are my OTHER options? Lots of people say: "Self Publish!" Do an E-Book, use POD - Print on Demand, POD again (that means something else that I don't remember), or some other method. Let's face it - although this is NOT Rocket Science, it gets complicated!
I have neither the TIME, nor the MONEY, nor the DESIRE to immerse myself in some grandiose scheme to PROSTITUTE my wares! I work a full-time JOB because I HAVE TO! Don't we all secretly HOPE and even PRAY that someday, someone, somehow will DISCOVER us, and say: "WOW, that's GREAT, lem'me please publish it? PLEASE? Pretty Please? Pretty Pretty PLEASE?" DUH!
C'mon, tell the truth - haven't YOU had that fantasy once or twice?
SO - what's a Feller or a Gal to do? Is it like Russian Roulette? Go ahead SPIN the chamber - the odds are 5 to 1 that you WON'T BLOW YOUR HEAD OFF!
What are the possibilities? "Let me count the ways!"
A. Best Case Scenario - WOW - it's a HIT! A BEST SELLER! Thousands of copies are sold - and you make a Ska-Zillion DOLLARS! Become Rich & Famous! Live Happily Ever After! OH, GOD I'M SOOOO GOOD!
B. ABSOLUTE FLOP - the ONLY books SOLD are the 25 I BOUGHT! IT SUCKS! LOSER! DUMMY! SHIT HAPPENS! EGOTISTICAL MANIAC! Don't quit your DAY JOB! OUCH!
C. HIGHEST PROBABILITY - Reality suggests that your result will fall somewhere IN BETWEEN these two extremes, right? HELL - if ONLY 25 of my Family members, Friends, associates, absolute strangers (who are probably BRAIN-DEAD) buy the book - then I BREAK EVEN - get my money BACK - isn't THAT worth the RISK? As Curly might say: "SOITANLY!" GEE, I hope it don't take SEVEN YEARS THO!
Hold on there BUSTER! Did I take the time to do ANY research? Check ANY statistics? Use ANY reasonable assumptions? You BET your BIPPY!
I live in Maryland, so I went to the website for my state and obtained some POPULATION stats:
1. St. Pop. = 5,500,000 = 2% U.S.
2. Balto. City = 628,000 = 11% MD
3. " County = 777,000 = 12% MD
4. AA " = 506,000 = 9% MD
5. Howard " = 264,000 = 4% MD
6. Harford " = 232,000 = 4% MD
7. Carroll " = 163,000 = 3% MD
8. TOTAL = 2,570,000 = 44% MD
HELLO? This is the major Metropolitan Center of Baltimore ( BAWLMER ) and only the Five immediately surrounding counties - and represents almost HALF the population of this State! ( MERLIN ).
A. only 10% BUY my Book = 257,000
B. " 5% " " " = 128,500
C. " 1% " " " = 25,700
D. ONLY .1% " " " = 2,570
2,570 X $15.00 = $ 38,550 *
TIMES ONLY 8% Royalty = $ 3,084 *
That's about a 1,000% Return on a $300.00 Investment !!! I think it is worth the RISK - Wad'da You THINK?
That's 1/10th of 1% of 44% of 2% of AMERICA = .00088 of U.S.A.
GEE - What if a few other Marylanders BUY? Or even a couple manage to get Out-of-State? Out-of- Country? Maybe even our Sister Town - Baltimore, IRELAND? People like me of Irish Descent? SLEINTE'! Or the other half, German-Dutch Descent? PROST! Maybe even POLISH Descent? I DID MARRY A POLE! Nastrovya! Wouldn't count on too many of my EX-IN-LAWS though!
People who went to Public School #84? Saint Mary's Star of The Sea? Southern High School? The University of Baltimore? Johns Hopkins University?
I once WAS a Student there and the ALUMNI number in the THOUSANDS! AND - there are about 10,000 CURRENT STUDENTS PER YEAR! PLUS - I DO WORK THERE! About 45, 000 EMPLOYEES! It is the LARGEST Employer in the State of Maryland, not counting STATE Employees! AND - there just HAPPENS to be a BARNES & NOBLE BOOKSTORE about 50 feet from where I work - AND - I DO KNOW THE MANAGER!
In addition to all this "CRAPPOLA" - BAWLMER, MERLIN just happens to be "The Hollywood of the East" and home of the Director, John Waters, and my loving Daughter, ANN, WAS an EXTRA in "Cry Baby" - AND - as Old Honest Abe might say: "Let us not fail to remember, nor too soon forget..." that other Director, Barry Levinson - who knows, maybe one of them can get Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio to PLAY ME in the movie? After all, I ONCE was young, thin, and handsome, doncha' know? Well, he ain't actually Irish, but he IS half German, and he CAN ACT! In case you want to read about his biography, here is a good link:
WHEW !!! The Good Lord knows I already feel BETTER now!!! My PALMS ARE ITCHING!
Well, my Fellow Authors and Authoresses (anyone COIN that one yet?) Now that I've expressed myself so eloquently (LOL) perhaps one or two of you will take the time to comment?
HINT to LIZ - did you read this yet, Quick Draw McGraw?
As the sun slowly sinks in the West, and my RAVENS are kicking ARSE against Karen & Karla's COWGIRLS! 30 to 3 - HA-HA-HA !!! Sorry Gals, still LUV YA tho'!
OH -yeah - whether or not all of the above 'diarrhea of the mouth" makes sense, or sounds like an "ego trip" - perhaps it will at least HELP someone else to do some research on the numbers in their OWN state? I found it helpful. Here's the link for the U.S. Census Bureau:
Peace! Love! Joy!
Prosperity! and Posterity to ALL !!!
Tom - The Balto-Moron !!!