I recently read a shocking statistic about the state of book publishing today:
Here’s the reality of the book industry: in 2004, 950,000 titles out of the 1.2 million tracked by Nielsen Bookscan sold fewer than 99 copies. Another 200,000 sold fewer than 1,000 copies. Only 25,000 sold more than 5,000 copies. The average book in America sells about 500 copies. (Publishers Weekly, July 17, 2006).
What this alarming reality means is that it is becoming more and more difficult for traditional publishers to simply recover the cost of producing a new book, and thus it is becoming more and more difficult to get good books into print. The consequence of this growing reality is that increasingly books are not being published because of the quality of their content but because of the notoriety of their authors. Publishers are simply unable financially to publish a book by an author who is not able to do a significant amount of self-marketing.
I know this first hand. I recently submitted a book to a publisher who responded very quickly that the editorial committee loved the book’s content, but I did not have enough social media followers for them to invest in its publication. (I currently have 1,800 Twitter followers, just to name one platform.) Frustrating, but I get it—most book marketing today is done by authors, not publishers.
This is where you can help: If you appreciate the kind of content you regularly receive on this blog, my podcast, and currently published materials, please consider following us on our social media platforms (and encourage others to do so as well!).
I refuse to do gimmicky things in order to “build a following.” At the same time, I do understand the quandary publishers are in. Therefore, I am simply requesting that you follow our various social media outlets as a way to help us get things of value into publication by showing potential publishers that we have people who share our values and are interested in what we produce. By following us, this will also allow us to notify you when we are able to bring new things into publication as well as bring you content that will hopefully help you in your homes and churches.
I have listed below the social media accounts of regular contributors here. Please consider following these accounts, and encourage your friends to do so as well. The reality is that the more followers we have, the more likely a traditional publisher will consider publication.