Thursday, August 16, 2018

Book Sales

I am told sales of Friendly Local Game Store are exceeding expectations. I've had questions about how it has been selling in various channels. I just received a statement for my second royalty check, with a break down by channel, so lets take a look:

The quarters are mixed up a bit here. The channel sales (game trade distribution) and Gameplaywright Retailer are sales to date (Q1 and Q2), making it look bigger than it should be. The GAMA Trade Show was also Q1, so that should have been included previously. Still, this should provide an idea of where the book is selling. My guess is my Q3 statement will show Amazon dominance.

ACD, GTS and IPR seem to be doing the best in keeping it in stock at distribution, each having a handful of books in various warehouses, with IPR going deep. At ACD Games Day, I was talking to my old manager, now head of purchasing at ACD, about how my book was never available there, a common complaint with small publishers. It turned out it was selling through faster than they could get them in, the predictive abilities of distributors as bad as retailers. A non RPG book is not a typical game trade item, so nobody wants to get stuck with excess copies, thus there's careful ordering. This book is not a typical game trade item, so I expect Amazon to be the main source after a while and distribution to drop it.

ACD stock of FLGS

GTS stock of FLGS

Go Indie Press Revolution!

Sales in my own store have reached 32 copies (part of channel sales and Gameplaywright retailer). I've avoided selling these online, although several other stores are doing so. There may be something in my contract not allowing this, I can't recall. I buy them like every other store. I initially received six free copies as part of my publishing contract, and those got given out to staff and family.

New copies sold online are still money in my pocket, as opposed to used copies which provide authors zero dollars. If you ever get a chance to buy a new copy of a book for roughly the same price as a used copy, buy the new copy to support the author.

Total sales this quarter, reflected in the chart were $6,069. From this total, the costs of two print runs were deducted, and I receive half of that. There are no other expenses deducted. We're talking 1,000 copies.

What does this all mean? It's a small niche book with probably a limited revenue producing period. I figure I've seen half the revenue at this point based on what I've been told by my publisher, a third if I'm really lucky, so it's clearly a labor of love for all involved. It's ranked 29,172 in Amazon's Business and Money section, amongst 2,000,000+ books, whatever that means. Top 15%?

I enjoyed the writing process, although I don't think anyone wants to see another game trade book from me unless I can come up with something really clever. I've got another labor of love book project idea, but I need a more mainstream publisher, if anyone knows one. It's a fun travel book about chicken buses in Central America.

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