More great stuff from Eric at Pimp My Novel. Many of us aspiring writers read book after book about the process of getting that first book published, but few of us know anything about the business of selling those books, which is obviously secondary but no less relevant to our interests. For instance:
Returns—Often expressed as a percentage, returns are the books sent back to the publisher by the account(s). The return rate is described by (# of books returned by the account)/(# of books shipped to the account).
Sell-through—Also often expressed as a percentage, sell-through is the number of books sold by an account compared to how many it bought. It is described by (# of books sold by the account)/(# of books shipped to the account).
Lots of people don’t realize it, but writers make their money from publisher sales to book stores, not from book store sales to readers. This sounds great to a lot of us writers, until we see the difference our return and sell-through rates make in getting more books published.
Pimp My Novel is fast becoming one of my favorite blogs. I really recommend you go poke around there.