§ Not even Sale-ability !

© Nirupam Banerjee, INDIA


Given that several books released by the traditional publishers don't really sell enough, the layman would conclude that a manuscript is selected based on its PERCEIVED sale-ability by the Publisher. But the truth elludes even this 'smart' generalization.

Just as the 'losses' in some books (due to the wrong sales forecast by the Publisher) are more than neutralized by the 'profits' in the others, there may also arise another profit portion which could be invested back into certain books to experiment with their sale-ability, or to at least promote the ideas therein.

Now I give a table:

Perceived Sale-ability









[Actual Sales] 






Here the codes are...

- meaning NEGATIVE i.e. significant loss 
+ meaning POSITIVE i.e. significant profit
= meaning NEUTRAL i.e. no-loss-no-profit practically 
∞ meaning UNCLEAR i.e. uncertainty is there (it seems it can be anything of the triad +, -, =)

Note:- the things in the third brackets i.e. [ ] are just examples here. 

In only the extreme right column, can we say that the Publisher made mistake (like a human error) in forecasting high sales i.e. '+' sign, where the result came '=' i.e. it was more or less just the investment returning, no significant remuneration being UNEXPECTEDLY available for the work. But what happens in the other columns? There the things are not unexpected. The Publisher is mentally prepared for the negative (-) & zero (=) financial results. And yet they jumped into the decision: "Publish the Manuscript!"

What does this mean?

The Publishers are passionate about those manuscripts! And the passion is such a thing!! Driving away the Sale-ability factor!!!

Although the Table shows EXAMPLE results, but I have selected them. To demonstrate the deepest truth.

In the 3rd column from the right, the Publisher definitely took chances with the investment as the unclear situation (∞) meant the result could be anything, even +ve, i.e. significant sales. But in the 2nd case from the right, they were actually prepared to work for FREE (=). And in the 4th case from the right, they were even ready to give away BOTH labour & money (-).

So even the above 3 acceptance cases already indicate that the Traditional Publishing may be — in the very essence — based on the Publishers' own PASSION (of topics, categories, subcategories, etc) rather than the widely held belief system of the Sale-ability.♦






§ POD — Print On Demand

The first radical change in the Industry began with the Print On Demand (P.O.D.) facility presented by the Computer technology.

This was not possible with the Gutenberg model where the Typical Press required the Reproduction of the book in terms of LOTS. Even in case of small print-runs. (Say at least 100 copies needed to be printed out simultaneously in such a lot.)


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