Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Fictionwise.com is a distribution site for e-books that charges the first $15 and 50% of gross royalties. Some authors seem to specifically seek out publishers who distribute via Fictionwise. Things to bear in mind include:
A publisher may be listed as using Fictionwise that does distribute all of their titles through this service. Do not assume that your book will be listed at Fictionwise if this is not specified in the contract.
Before clamoring for immediate distribution check your contract and appreciate that you probably receive at least twice as much from each book sold direct from the publisher. There is a good reason for releasing in-house first, and through distributors only after those sales have dropped off.
There is a significant readership that uses Fictionwise exclusively or in preference to going to the publisher. Fictionwise offers a trusted centralised sales process, useful data such as reader-ratings and specific word counts, and reliably readable files in all common formats for books by famous and niche authors.
In my opinion it is wise to be aware of whether a publisher you are considering distributes through Fictionwise but only as a factor that may contribute to sales figures. It is much easier to discover than actual sales figures but may, in many cases, be a factor of no importance whatsoever.
It is hard to say what typical Fictionwise sales might be but in the absence of real information let me make something up (tell me if this seems anywhere near plausible). If you divide their 40,000 sales per month by what looks like about 750 books listed per month that would give an estimated average around 50 sales per book, less given that not all sales will be of new listings.
Your mileage, of course, may vary.