When I first started down the path to ‘published’ over five years ago, I dreamed of Royalty checks. I thought it would be so cool to work for a year and get royalties forever after. HAH. Yeah, I took off those glasses and learned the industry, or I should say began to learn the industry because I’m still learning. : )
This week, we finally got the sales numbers for Perfect Circle and I thought I’d share them with you.
Carlos’s book was published mass market paperback by Random House. And, like most first time authors, much of the publicity was up to us and, um, we had no idea what we were doing. We sent postcards to every Indie books store we could find– I still have about 150 post cards and no idea what to do with them if anyone has any suggestions. Carlos lives most of the time in Spain so a book tour wasn’t feasible. I did organize signings for when he was here at Christmas. A few contests, interviews and word of mouth pretty much wraps up our publicity efforts.
I say all that to let you know that I think we are the average newbie author.
Perfect Circle was released in late November 08 and the sales period ended on Dec 31st of that same year. So the numbers reflect a sales period lasting a little over a month.
Out of a run of 9120, we sold 7813. In that time frame, 138 books were returned and 3264 were held as reserves against possible returns giving as reportable sales of 4159.
NOV- sales 7167
DEC- sales 646
Just in case you don’t know, I didn’t when I first started out, bookstores can send your books back to the publisher for credit if they don’t sell. Because of this, publishers need to hold a percentage of books sold as insurance just in case there are future returns. They will gradually reduce the amount held in reserve so we will get credit for them if the sales stick. (oh please, oh please, don’t send the books back). So think of books shipped, not sold.
This means we’ve earned $2054.49. Hold that against a $10,000 advance and we only need to earn $7945.51 to start seeing any royalty checks. Piece of cake, right? Whew.
What surprised me the most was the amount of copies printed: 9120. Give or take a few dollars, we’d have to sell everything to make back the advance. After I thought about it awhile, it made sense for RH to do this. Why print more until you have a market for it? And of course I have no idea how Perfect Circle has sold from January to present and I won’t know until the next set of numbers arrive. (Which, judging from this go around, should be in November)
I’m hoping that when The Prisoner comes out this October, Perfect Circle’s sales will spike.
Now I have a new goal: Second printing.