1. steveorg
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    steveorg New Member

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    Publishing a kit book

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by steveorg, Sep 20, 2009.

    I want to find a publisher for a kit book. The kit will contain a book, a work book and tools for individual and group activities.

    The subject is timely and the book very useful (if I do say so myself!).

    Any advice on obtaining a publisher would be appreciated. I'm also interested in what my financial expectations should be in terms of my percentage of the revenue and the possibility of advances.

    The book fits into a very specific business related genre, so I'm hoping that it would be possible to find statistics on total sales in the genre and how well the top books sell. The information could be useful in pitching to publishers. Is therer any way to obtain this kind of information?

    Thanks for all help.
     
  2. FrankB
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    FrankB Member

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    Last question first - there's no way for Joe Average Writer to find out accurate sales numbers for anyone else's books. (In fact, deciphering one's own royalty statements is slightly more difficult than divining the future from examining chicken entrails. Blindfolded.)

    I'm not familiar with any publishers of books such as you describe but I'm sure they exist. You might consider asking the manager of your local bookstore for starters.

    Compensation varies quite a bit depending on publisher and perceived/projected sales. Royalties are usually in the 8%-15% range, preferably based on cover price, but it's the advance, or lack of same, that can really skew the numbers. My hunch is the average advance for a niche book is in the mid four-figure range.

    I wouldn't plan on a new house at this stage. ;)

    Good luck.
     
  3. steveorg
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    steveorg New Member

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    Thanks Frank. The word "focus" may be more appropriate than "niche", because "niche" implies a small audience. At any given time, 5%-10% of the population could be considered target purchasers (much fewer actually buy), and most people are targets at one time in their lives.

    While there's a bit of ebb and flow, it isn't a trendy subject and most of the successful books seem to stay on bookstore shelves for years. The most successful book in the genre is still selling well after almost thirty years. My title would be the first kit in the subject. If the book kit is successful, there's strong potential for 5-10 related titles, all with the same possible shelf life.

    I'm sure not ready to buy that house :(, but I hope that the potential advance amount is higher. You said that the range of royalties (8%-15%) is dependent on the amount of the advance. Are there other issues that could impact the percentage?

    I appreciate your help.
     
  4. FrankB
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    FrankB Member

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    You're welcome but I guess I'm a poor writer because you misunderstood me. ;)

    When I said it's the advance that can skew the numbers, I didn't mean the royalty percentages. I meant the amount of money the author can put in the bank upon completion of his work.

    Advances can range from a few hundred dollars to millions. Figures I've seen suggest the average advance is well under $10,000, probably closer to half that. Royalty payments don't kick in until the book has earned out - ie. sold enough copies to "pay back" the advance. (No, you don't have to repay an advance if a book doesn't earn out. Most don't.)

    If your book has legs and stays on store shelves for years, it will likely earn back its advance and those royalties that had been paying back the advance, will now be punted in your direction, usually twice a year. Smaller advances are paid back more quickly, meaning you might start receiving those biannual cheques sooner than you expected. (That sliding scale I offered, of 8%-15%, is usually dependent upon the number of copies sold. For instance, you might be paid 8% of the cover price for the first 10,000 copies sold and 10-12% for the next 15,000 and 15% once your sales have surpassed 25,000.)

    I received a $5,000 advance for my book and it earned out. It's now in its eighth printing and for several years I've been receiving modest four-figure cheques twice a year. I'm happy enough with how it's worked out.

    Your project sounds intriguing. I hope you do well with it.
     

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