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Publisher's numbers

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#1 KimYoonmi


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Posted 22 March 2014 - 08:26 PM

I don't need the general advice, etc... or the stuff you can generally find... I got that down pat. I do need the numbers from the publisher's POV.


I tried to look up these numbers on google and had no success.


1. Percentage of Sales for Paperback, trade paperback, and hardcover (more recent the better.)

2. e-book market versus paperback market. What's the current market share?

3. What is the cost of warehousing print books?

4. The cost of having books destroyed?

5. The percentage of returns on a book versus sales.

6. Transportation costs.

3. Cost of manufacturing the physical book on a mass scale. (not POD) (Break down of that would be lovely)

And any other numbers I might be forgetting ATM.


I'd be more appreciative if it came from either people who know these numbers for sure and can refer me to pages. Or to someone who has a connection so I can ask them...



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#2 Guest_AWExley_*

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 08:32 PM

You're not going to find that information for the simple fact it is commercially sensitive and publishers will not release it.


Plus there are so many different variables in every single question you have asked. For example: e-book vs paperback is dependant on age group and genre. Most picture book sales will be physical copies, erotica is mostly e-book.

#3 AQCrew



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Posted 22 March 2014 - 10:14 PM

The Pew Research Center has published a number of studies that address #2 in various ways.




Each of your questions is extremely complex and varied -- so you're not going to get straight answers and numbers here.


You're going to need to research published studies and other institutes that publish them.  We've seen them, but we can't recall now all the various places.  If we come across them, we'll post more...

#4 KimYoonmi


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Posted 27 March 2014 - 05:27 PM

I'm more interested in small publisher/upstart publisher numbers... and not exact numbers, but more of an estimate range. I'm fairly sure an author said that there was an average for trade paperback v. paperback v. hardcover sales on average. I just can't remember which author said it.

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#5 KL Sanchez

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 06:41 PM

It's quite possible that some of these numbers you won't be able to find, period, unless you actually contact a publisher of like size to yourself and are able to strike up a dialogue.  The drawback, though, is that it's a competitive market, like any other; they might not be willing to share information that could help a potential competitor to hurt their own business in the future.  If you're thinking of going into the business yourself, you might only have to make educated guesses and budget accordingly; for instance, ask a local trucking company how much it costs to pay a driver and load the tank to make a trip from one end of the country to the other and calculate the mileage estimates from there.


Even then, it's all just guesses.


What you'll also probably find is that a good number of times you'll end up outsourcing or subcontracting various aspects of the business. Unless you intend to buy your own trucks - be they 20 ft. box trucks or the big, 50-footer container trucks - you would probably be better off contracting a professional trucking outfit to do your shipping for you.  At least then, however, your costs are negotiated up front and fixed via the contract; if anything varies depending on demand, that number is still known.  The company also would handle all the licensing and maintenance that goes into the business (and the licensing can get extensive and very expensive; trucking schools cost - on average - four large up front, and we haven't even talked about automotive maintenance on those beasts).


#3 comes in a similar vein; this can depend on whether you're going to buy your own warehouse lock, stock, n' barrel, or if you're going to rent storage space.  Either way, there could be equipment involved: pallet jacks, walk-behind or even riding forkifts, fuel and electricity and maintenance considerations for those forklifts, labor to run them... inventory management and personnel.  Climate control and roadway access for trucks.  Etcetera.  All of that goes into cost considerations.


If, on the other hand, this is purely research for a report or some kind of essay on the business (I'm losing the correct word here), then you might have a better chance of getting the other numbers from publishers who could be amenable to shedding some light on their business.  Many of the "hardware" numbers you can possibly figure out via searches and estimates from various online catalogs and manufacturers, not to mention local truck companies who might just be looking to expand their business.


In general, though, expect to meet opposition, as a lot of that information is sensitive to the way publishers do business.  If, for example, it were to get out that one publisher is able to print for substantially less than another - and yet they both charge the same price on the shelf - it could lead to a lot of backlash against the former publisher.  You have to be careful the way you word things if you want to get information directly from them.


Otherwise, you're more likely to either have to dive in headfirst and find out the hard way, or... just make a guess.

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