How many published books per year actually make a true profit nowadays?

I can't get an answer to what seems like a simple question, probably because so many people are trying to make money in the new publishing game (print on demand, e-books, self-publishing, books on CD, etc., etc), no one will tell you how many published books actually make a profit. Can't find anything on the web about it. When I say profit, I mean something simple. How many books that are published (regardless of HOW they are published) end up with Total Gross In Sales that are GREATER than the Expenses to GET THE BOOK PUBLISHED, advertised, distributed, whatever? The only time I ever heard someone actually quote a number was the author Greg Mortenson who wrote 2 books about building schools in Afghanistan. He said his publisher stated one in eight non-fiction books makes a profit. Does anyone know of any other statistics about book publishing and profits?

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I've read that 70% of all non fiction books loose money for the publisher. I don't know if this is true of non-fiction as well. I also saw a recent article where the CEO of one of the large publishing houses said their real profit comes from a very small percent of the books they print.

    I've read accounts from several authors who end up with next to nothing in royalties.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    The answer to your question is quite complex. By far the preponderance of books published annually are self-published, where book sales figures are not publicly reported. Traditional houses are going to tout their best sellers lists, but that doesn't take into account the budget required to produce the results, or ROI. Also not clear is where the ROI allocations go - publisher or author.

    If you're looking for the magic bullet answer to turning a profit on book sales, you'll likely not find one. But, there are proven recipes for success. In order to maintain control and ensure 100% royalties, I'd start with self-publishing through a full-service Outfit like Outskirts Press.

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  • Sherri
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    The problem is the balance between Characterization and Plotting. Previously writers were more interested in plot and the twists that come with it. The events had to be exciting. You would rarely find a book where there was pure romance because the story arc is just too simple. Most books were therefore a hybrid of two or more genres. Even where Romance was the core of the story, there was a fair inclusion of the elements of their daily life that had little if nothing to do with the romance. As for the standards of writing getting worse; I feel like real writers have become better at characterization. Where characters were either good or bad, now they have become increasingly intricate. However such extensive character development comes at the expense of plotting. They become tempted to reveal more about their character than of the story (you have done all that research after all). Our writing has become more focused on the relationships between characters rather than where the story is going. The influx of sub-standard books is largely increased by the advent of self-publishing. Publishers are very ruthless in their selection of books worthy to be published and even after selection there is vigorous editing . Self publishing creates short-cuts that are not always healthy. The good books get lost in the masses.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    hey there holacarinados

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  • 9 years ago

    My friend recommended something that has worked well for him. He has had great results, it might work well for you. Good luck.

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