A website tracking my attempt to publish my own book, "Brighton's Best Pubs". This is a locally produced guide to every pubs and bar in Brighton, the book is a comprehensive guide covering an amazing 300 pubs and bars within the city, utilising a unique pub rating system. Atmosphere, Beer, Barstaff, Food, Entertainment, Decor/Garden and Talent are all rated for each pub/bar. It also features maps, a Club guide and suggested pub crawls.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Book Sales

The book sales figures are a mystery. This is for numerous reasons which I will try to explain:

1. It is being sold by the publisher directly, the publisher through a distributor (to retailers), directly by me and by retailers who I am supplying. These four sales methods have varying degrees of transparency.

2. Publisher Direct Sales: presumeably they know how many they have sold, but they haven't told me. I'll find out the combined number the publisher has sold when I get the first 6-monthly sales report, which is due in February.

3. Publisher through Distributor to Retailers: presumeably the publisher knows how many they have sent to the Distributor, the issue here is with stock. The distributor holds some stock (so that is unsold) and the various retailers are also holding stock (so that is unsold). I will get some information on this when the publisher sends me the sales figures (and cheque!) in February, but I suspect this will just be on the books that have been paid for, rather than sold (some retailers operate 30 day terms, some 60 day terms and I guess the distributor will have 30/60 days terms as well).

4. My direct sales: I've made quite a few, but haven't had a chance to do my paperwork for about 3 months, so actually have only a rough handle on this. Hope to calculate it over Xmas. These sales are to people I know, people I work with and people via Ebay and Amazon marketplace.

5. My sales to retailers: Again I haven't had a chance to do the paperwork recently, plus there is the added issue that the retailers may have unsold stock. Also they don't pay until the stock is sold and they are resupplied, or against their terms (30 or 60 days). Or in HMV's case they don't pay at all, yet, the b@stards.

6. So I guess this was more than you wanted to know, but there wasn't a quick answer, except "I don't know". My estimate is that I have sold about 300 books through #4 and #5. Maybe more, maybe less (given unknown stock levels).

7. Publisher sales: probably less than 300. They haven't really been very good at retailing the book. To my knowledge it is only in a few bookshops, and isn't in some of the ones that I think are essential (WHSmiths in the London to Brighton stations, Sussex Stationers [though they have supposedly ordered 100 copies] & Borders [who have shown interest in including it in their local books section, but don't seem to have, yet]). I know it is consistently selling on Amazon because I keep an eye on the stock levels. Also selling on Tesco, Waterstones and WHSmiths online.

So, if I had to make an estimate, then maybe 500 books sold. Which isn't a major success, but is approaching the break-even point.
The hot news on the Pub Jury front is that I have a web designer working on an international Pub Jury website where people will be able to submit ratings and photos. I'll send you links when its done (expected in January at the moment). I know you've heard this before, but this guy actually is working on it and looks like he will produce something!