For those who don't subscribe to the magazine, Terry Whalen has summarized the article on his blog, The Writing Life:
The May 16th issue of Publishers Weekly (which I received in the mail yesterday) included an article with these statistics about iUniverse. During 2004, they published a total of 18,108 new books. Fourteen of their books were sold nationally through Barnes & Noble’s bricks-and-mortar stores. It’s a key number. While many people like to rave about their self-published books, where will they be able to sell it? How will they be able to sell it? Then another key statistic from iUniverse in the PW article: Only 83 titles (of the 18,108) sold at least 500 copies.
Those are some very disturbing stats. So even if your book is fantastic and you happen to be a marketing genius, the odds are still wildly against your selling even a paltry 500 books. I had no idea the outlook was that dismal.
For more on self-publishing and iUniverse, see this "Book Babes" article. I had planned to write more--people are always asking what I think of self-publishing--but I'm being called in other directions right now and must wrap this up. Read what Terry Whalen and the Book Babes have to say, and then come back here and start a discussion if you like. I'll try to look in on you later today.