Why publishers will tell you anything but the truth. From @getthefive
As the publishing industry gathers in New York for its annual trade show, BookExpo America, they’re discussing everything except the one piece of information authors crave: how many books they actually sell.
There is no equivalent of gold records in the book publishing industry. That’s because sales numbers are almost impossible to come by, and the numbers you can track down simply cannot be verified.
Publishers are loath to provide accurate sales figures, for two reasons. One is that they don’t want authors to know how many copies they sold, so that they don’t have to pay all the royalties due the authors. Second, they’re embarrassed by how few copies most books sell.
Publishers control sales data the way the former Soviet Union controlled data regarding the sale of wheat, with about as little honesty and transparency. So what’s an author to do?