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Hiya Russell,

That's an interesting post.

I have written a novel that will now be published in February because of an online publicity stunt.

Have a look at my Next to Hemingway website, where my friends took photos of my novel and left it in bookshops next to Hemingway, which, give or take a few authors, is where I sit.


Good luck with the book - I'll buy a copy.

Kind Regards,


you should distribute it in cafes. seriously.

Based on practices in related industries, I suspect net sales indicates that the total revenue from the 7428 amounts to selling 4702 at full price - i.e the difference being giveaways and bogofs etc.

I’ve been meaning to buy my own copy of EBCB for ages, instead of continually referring to the communal copy in our studio. This is the kick I needed to make me go do so.

Is there any particular outlet (maybe online) that ensures you get a cut from the sale yourself? Or shall I just support my local bookshop?

Tony, that's very kind. If you buy from Amazon via a click from here I get a tiny percentage (I think). But get it from wherever suits you. A local bookseller would be good but I'd be very surprised if any had any on their shelves, so they'd have to order it.

I'm with Fran on this one. Get it in the cafes.

You've done them a favour - now they can repay it.

Maybe they could bundle it?! "Eggs, Bacon, Chips and Beans, plus a book called Eggs, Bacon, Chips and Beans - £XX".

Might even work as a Xmas gift pack in supermarkets. Your book, a can of Branston beans (far superior, no argument), 6 free range eggs, and a pack of smoked back!

Interestingly, this would require putting the whole pack - book and all - in the fridge. Very eye catching!

Having worked in publishing. Gross is what was sold into bookshops and net is what sold thru. So yes, the difference between the two is potential returns and then any remainder is of course in a warehouse. In publishing terms, it doesn't mean the book is over period, but it does mean that it is doubtful there will be much more time/money spent on marketing/promotions (unless paperback is on the horizon?). At this point, it would be up to Special Sales and wholesale to see where they can unload copies so as not to lose too much of the cost of printing, marginal overhead etc. I would suggest (1) you be selling direct online and be your own retailer (there should be an ad and a link on every one of your pages), (2) continue to do a bit more flogging whether that be thru friendly bloggers or in setting up some of your own events at your favourite eateries. Do a crawl of eateries across London or something as a publicity stunt to drum up more visibility (maybe eat as much EBCB as you can in a day!).

Supermarkets are tough and lean towards proven bestsellers or proven names (and preferably paperbacks, it is all about volume with them). Cafes just don't deal in books much. So neither of those will be worth time.

I do believe working with special sales to come up with some cross promos with some sort of related company is a good bet. Could work with a gift company, a bundle that includes a can of beans would be clever (sell them wholesale and be done).

I was waiting for the Canadian version, but I think I'll settle for this one.

Sorry, I want the book next to it on the table, even if I don't recognise the two pandas on the cover.

It's good that you like Leila's book, because I sent her my copy of EBCB and she really liked that too. Must buy another one. I also gave a copy to my brother and he's put on about a stone since then. Fine work.

If it's any consolation (which it isn't, obviously), those sales figures aren't bad compared to literary fiction: I was amazed by how low the sales of the Booker prize finalists were:


And those on the long list were really tiny - some of them no more than a couple of hundred, even by established writers.

So obviously supermarkets and cafes are the way to go - bookshops can't sell anything but Harry Potter...

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