Some facts, numbers, and practical publishing business standards of interest related to the W&IOTF contests and anthologies.
· W&IOTF is managed by Author Services, Inc., a literary agency, a wholely owned subsidiary of the Church of Spiritual Technology (aka Scientology).
· In the main, Author Services, Inc., also doing business as Galaxy Press, represents L. Ron Hubbard's fiction.
· Bridge Publications, also wholely owned by the Church of Spiritual Technology, publishes Mr. Hubbard's nonfiction.
· Galaxy Press recently roled out a new publishing line, The Golden Age of Science Fiction, again, in the main, Mr. Hubbard's fiction.
Moving the rollout date of the annual W&IOTF anthology appears to be a practical business decision. One, a postponement so that the annual anthology rollout didn't coincide with the Golden Age rollout; two, a timely decision to move it to a publishing season that doesn't coincide with the end of year awards ceremony and other events that demand Author Services attention in mid summer.
· 50,000 to 60,000 copies of the anthology are printed annually.
· The anthology enjoys a full-year selling season, compared with, at best, a three-month season for the general novel marketplace.
· The anthology enjoys a nearly 100% sellthrough of print run annually, compared with a 60% marketplace average.
Publishing business industry standards (these are planning numbers, actual anthology sales figures may vary slightly).
· [A] 20% direct sales at 100% of cover price.
· [B] 20% distributed sales at 80% of cover price (online and indirect wholesale sales outlets).
· [C] 60% distributed sales at 60% of cover price (wholesale distributor discount to brick and mortar retail sales outlets).
A breakdown of sales at a (conservative?) 50,000 annual sales of the WOTF anthology at $7.95 cover price accounting for wholsale distribution discounts.
· [A] .2 x 50,000 = 10,000 x $7.95 = $79,500
· [B] .2 x 50,000 = 10,000 x .8($7.95) = $63,600
· [C] .6 x 50,000 = 30,000 x .6($7.95) = $143,100
· Total revenue = $286,200, 10% gross profit = $34,344
· Large print runs in the 50,000 copy range enjoy 12% gross profits, compared with 10% or less for print runs in the 1,000 to 5,000 copy range.
A mass market trade paperback print run of 50,000 costs roughly $1.00 for each book. Warehousing, transportation, postage and handling, etc., advertising, fixed business costs, overhead, staff, etc., comprise roughly 70% of other publisher costs. Add in a 10% profit markup and 10% for royalties and an asking cover price is known.
From a writer's perspective: Assuming a standard 10% royalty on $286,200 gross publisher revenues for contributing authors, royalties would be $28,620. As it is, the anthology pays each contributing author $500. Assuming the minimum possible number of 12 annual winners, the royalty payment if distributed equally would be $2,385 in standard publishing practices. However, the awarded contest amounts per winner could reasonably be considered part of the "royalties." And other anthologies rarely pay royalties anyway. Plus, other content from illustrators and noncontest contributors taking up roughly half of each volume also earns contribution "royalty" payments.