Book publishing on Amazon

Over the past several posts we have been examining a screen shot showing the 7,300 books published by Outskirts Press for our authors that currently appear on, and we’ve been looking closer at the breadth of subject matter and quality.  Well, so far we covered the breadth of subject matter, including the statistic that approximately 40% of the books we publish are fiction and approximately 20% are religious or spiritual in nature.

So now let’s cover the quality.  Here’s the screen shot again, so we can look at the Average Customer Reviews of Outskirts Press books:

Of the 7,302 books appearing on Amazon, 4,052 have at least a one-star rating. Notice that this doesn’t mean 4,052 books ONLY have a one-star rating, since the number of books with 4 or 5 stars is included in this 4,052 number.  Instead, it means that of the 7,302 Outskirts Press books appearing on Amazon, 55% of them have received a rating of some kind.  Compare that with our 5 largest competitors, where that percentage is 42%, 30%, 25%, 21%, and 15% respectively.  Ouch.  By the way, I’ve mentioned in the past I don’t mention our competitors by name, even when I want to — like now.

Of course, simply receiving a rating doesn’t necessarily equate to “quality,” particularly as it involves the one-star ratings. But receiving a rating does relate to is ENGAGEMENT by the author in marketing effort.   Let’s look at those figures above again.  Only FIFTEEN PERCENT of one of the major online publisher’s authors have managed (or bothered) to even get 1 review of the book they worked so hard to write and then threw into a machine to publish.  That’s kind of … sad. Perhaps that is because once their book is published, their publisher forgets about them.  They probably don’t receive years of ongoing marketing support via email like our authors do with the exclusive Outskirts Press Marketing COACH.

So now let’s look at the quality of books, which relates to the number of reviews that are 4 stars or higher.  For Outskirts Press, that number is 3,791, which is 52% of all the books we have published.  That IS a demonstration of quality.

So, let’s compare the quality of Outskirts Press with the quality of those 5 other publishers, at least as determined by Amazon readers:

Publishing Firm Percentage of 4 or 5 star ratings
Outskirts Press 52%
Company A 24%
Company U 37%
Company X 19%
Company C 27%
Company L 13%

Hmm, I guess on second thought, if I published with Company L, I wouldn’t go out of my way to get any reviews either – since I’d have the highest possibility among these 6 publishers of getting a lousy review.  Better yet, I think I’d consider publishing with Outskirts Press, where our books are reviewed more often and receive statistically more 4 & 5 star reviews among all the major self-publishing companies.  If you’re looking for a way to compare self publishing companies, this is one way. There are other ways, too, and I’ve blogged about one way here.