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My agent is talking with Lulu about ways to shave down that price to something a little more in line with industry pricing, and, importantly, to price it comparably on Amazon.com. There are a lot more readers shopping at Amazon and searching for Cory Doctorow than at Lulu, and if my book is not there, that's a ton of lost sales.
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To be honest, I also completely overestimated how far word-of-mouth and a popular blog would get me. A positive review from me on Boing Boing of someone else's book can routinely sell 200–300 copies directly, as measured through my Amazon affiliate link and any number of retail sales elsewhere. But people just aren't as persuaded when you review your own work. And even when they are, without their sales registering in Amazon's recommendation engine, there's no knock-on sales arising from future recommendations.

Lackluster sales have been accompanied by fairly lackluster donations, too. So far, I've netted just $542.99 from 34 donors, with a median donation of $10. The lowest donation was $2, while two donors gave $50. I have heard from hundreds of people over the years asking how they can donate to me to thank me for my free e-books, so I'm willing to bet that there are a lot more donors who'd chip in if they knew about this project. We'll see. In the meantime, I'll always be hugely grateful to those first 34.

Accounting

Here's where we stand: after PayPal commissions, I've brought in $23,173 for the limited editions, including the $10,000 commissioned limited edition; $542.99 in donations for the free e-book editions; $490.03 in paperback and audio product sales. I've also made $6,800 writing this column. That's a net of $31,006.02 for With a Little Help, putting me up $21,730.15 overall. This is actually more than I'd hoped for the first six weeks, but I'm going to do better. By this time next month, I'll have mailed out those review copies, and with any luck I'll have beaten the price issue. Watch this space.

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