Again Out of the Hot Sheet and New Sales Studies.
30% of traditional publishing sales comes from front list, meaning the new books they put out.
70% is now coming from the backlist. (Remember, they buy all your copyright for the life of the copyright and they can do what they want with it.)
But breaking down that backlist number, 30% of it is what they are calling “newer backlist” meaning originally published in the last five to ten years.
40% of the sales are coming from older backlist (because books are still new to readers who have never seen them).
Traditional publishing is learning slowly that books don’t spoil, something we indie writers have known now for 15 years..
That does not bode well for the poor idiots who want to sell them new books when the traditional companies are starting to use author books from over a decade or more ago. And they have the right to do it because the authors gave them that right. The traditional publishers own all the copyright. They can do what they want with the author’s book. Author has no say.
Add that onto the fact that 50% of all traditionally published books sell under a dozen copies. (last post)
Yup, makes you want to run right out, rewrite your book four times over three years to find an agent, and sell them all rights, doesn’t it?
In other news, Barnes & Noble has shifted to buying more backlist because the returns are so much lower. And then there has been the crazy story about ordering in middle grade and young adult books. (Look it up.) That sector is now at 20% new, 80% older books.
Oh, wait!! On more quote from the Hot Sheet from the big trial. McIntosh from Penguin Random House said, (And I quote.) “We were acquiring hundreds of books for very little advance. We were investing no marketing money to support them. We were putting covers on them that were very, very old-fashioned … while we were printing these and in some cases shipping a couple of hundred, we were getting most of them back.”
I wonder why… Now imagine your book, after years of going through the grinder, is bought by an imprint of Penguin Random House and that happened to it. And you never see your book again because they bought all rights and don’t care.
Yup, he said that. And you still want your book to be published by a major corporation?
After my years and hundred plus books published with traditional publishing, Kris and I have been saying all this for a very long time. What is amazing is this big trial is making it all come out into the public eye. And sadly, the myth of traditional publishing will make a ton of writers just not care.