Kashyap Deorah Entrepreneur, Bestselling Author ep 54

Kashyap Deorah is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor and a bestselling author of the book “The Golden Tap”; which deals with the much hyped world of startups in India. In this interview, Kashyap and I talk about his writing process, the support received from his publisher, timing of the launch of the book and takeaways for writers who are looking to get their book published. Finally, we talk about how and why he ended up writing this book.

Shownotes are available at www.mykitaab.in/golden-tap

 

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Cost of Self Publishing my Book in India

Lovely Book! By Tim Geers

Image credit: Lovely Book! By Tim Geers at Flickr

Call it epiphany, or a combination of circumstances, or a  mere coincidence. Earlier this week, I decided that I should write a post on how much self-publishing NRI:Now Returned to India cost me. That was on Monday. By Thursday morning, I had the draft ready, but then two events prompted me to re-write this post and publish it a day later.  On Thursday evening, the moderator of the Nanowrimo India group on Facebook posted an article from The Write Life which discusses the costs incurred by four authors on self publishing their books. That article prompted a discussion within the group, and some members shared their costs- which ranged from Rupees 15,000 (around 250 U.S dollars at the current exchange rate) to Rupees 150,000 (or about 2,500 dollars). The latter cost has been incurred by yours truly. And that’s what prompted me to re-write this post.

First and foremost, the cost is very much on the higher side. (Rather as Rasana Atreya put it, that is WAY too expensive). I agree, and I am not making any excuses for it. But first, let us look at the breakdown of the costs. they are as follows:

All figures are in Indian Rupees. On the day I publish this blog, you can convert using the following for US Dollars, divide by 62; for Euros, divide by 70. (follow the links for Euros and US Dollars for the rates in case you are reading this post at a much later time period, also known as the future).

a. Editing: 40,000

b. Cover design: 10,000

c. Printing: 70,000

d. Other setup costs:15,000

e. Author website (hosting, design, etc.): 15,000

—————————————————

Total: 150,000

Other setup costs include launch promotion, shipping charges, sample copies via Createspce, etc. Adding author website here because  I only have one published book so far. I have also rounded off some of the costs on a higher side to arrive at a ballpark figure.

As you can see, these costs are indeed on a very high side. In particular, the cost of 400 print copies nearly doubled our estimate. Some of the above costs hurt financially, which I will explain below. Practically our break even point (i.e the point where income equals costs) further away from where it should have been.

Lessons learnt:

a. Search harder for an editor next time. we had received quotes that ranged from half a Rupee to 1 Rupee per word. For my 75,000 word novel that would have pushed the cost to 75,000 Rupees. We thought that 40,000 Rupees quoted by the editor we selected was a reasonable price.  Moreover, she was a published author herself, and came highly recommended. But what we got from her in the form of an edited document was an absolute disaster.

b. Stay away from print as far as possible. Takes up too much time, too much up front investment, longer recovery time period for the costs incurred.

First of all, print sales, unless pushed hard, move slowly (i.e. they take a longer time to sell). And the ebook version of my book heavily outsells the print version. Secondly, we had about 80 orders for print copies before launch of my book, only 15 have resulted in actual sales so far. 65 pairs of cold feet was not quite morale booster for a debut author. Finally, mistakes in print are costly. the first lot of 100 out of 400 copies that we printed were are not up to the mark. Maybe some day, I will sell them as a collectors’ items and recover my money.

c. On a lighter note, I will not disclose my background in my author bio, particularly in light of the above mistakes. The reason: I probably did not apply a single principle I learnt in my MBA when it came to book marketing. People might be tempted to ask “really?”

What could we have done differently/ will do differently next time?

While the lessons learnt are the obvious starting point for doing things differently, there are a few other things we are working on. I say “we” because my wife owns the company which is the publisher on record, and for print books in India.

a. For my next book, we are looking for a print on demand publisher in India, so that some of the costs we incurred upfront, and also the time and effort taken to ship the books to Amazon’s fulfillment center can be saved. We have been recommended a few publishers, particularly Pothi or Notionpress. But they do not work for us since they are not pureplay POD. Repro graphics, is another recommendation, but they have simply not responded to us so far.

b. Consider platforms other than the Amazon ecosystem. For ebooks, we used KDP Select, for print, it was Createspace for North America& Europe, for print books in India, we use Fulfilled by Amazon.

c. Plan out the book launch and marketing better. Also, look at the financial projections more seriously. Not that we didn’t plan the launch or marketing. But right around the time of the launch, we moved from Gurgaon to Bangalore (I took up a new job), which took our focus way for nearly a month and a half.

I hope that you will be able to avoid some of the mistakes we made along our journey, but let me also tell you: for us, there are no regrets, the lessons learnt will serve as a reminder to try harder and work smarter next time.

Now, Available on Amazon in India!

Last week, my printer delivered 250 print copies of NRI:Now, Returned to India to the Amazon fulfillment center near New Delhi. I was excited, but my excitement was short lived. Turns out that one part of their inventory system acknowledges that the copies are available, but the other says that some information is missing. Nearly 5 days of contacting the Seller support folks has yielded no results till now.

Edited:

So as of now, I am happy to say that till the time issue gets resolved, my book is almost available on Amazon in India.

Super excited! I will summarize my journey to becoming a self published author in the Indian market in a few future posts..thank you all those who have been witnesses, supporters, participants and fellow travelers in my journey.

 

 

Three Years Ago…

Three years ago this day, I finally gave in to the encouragement that my wife had been providing (which I sometimes equated to nagging) and I decided that I was going to write a book. The topic was in a way set – I was going to use my life’s story as the theme: a young man from India, who has been living in the United States for nearly a decade, returns to India for one year and never goes back. I had narrated some of my experiences in my diary on the Return to India Forum. The title was also ready: I was going to call my book Now, Returned to India (a play on words on NRI- Nonresident Indians or the Indian Diaspora).

Even before I had written the first word, I promptly wrote in my email signature “Author of the soon to be published book: Now, Returned to India.” When friends and family learnt about my bookwriting (ad)venture, they were curious, excited, and supportive at the same time.

I learnt the hard way that ‘soon to be published’ can very quickly become ‘to be published after three years’. But it has been a long, exciting journey, and it has been a journey in which I learnt a lot.

The first print run of Now, Returned to India should be ready by the time this blog goes live. Hopefully in ten days’ time, readers in India will be able to order the print version of my book through Amazon.

This will conclude one chapter in my journey as a first time author. The new chapter would soon begin, and I will ponder till then: As a published author, what next?

No, I am not drawing the curtains on this blog. In fact, I plan to keep writing, because my journey as an author has just begun. Just wanted to share my feelings with the readers of this blog, many have been with me in my journey since the beginning. I wanted to thank them for their support and encouragement…

Guest Post: My journey in getting a book published

I am happy to post a guest blog by Vinod Kaul, a fellow first time author who has just published his book, Confessions of an MBA. In only the sixth decade of his life, Vinod has turned into an author. This is his story in his own words below. Note that this is not a sponsored or paid post. Vinod has in fact written this article based on my request. Hope you will find his story useful.

Vinod Kaul
Vinod Kaul

“In a sense I have been a closet writer all my life. In spite of being praised for my amateur pieces from school onwards, I never got down to putting together a manuscript long enough to submit for a book. Even when I was between jobs in Canada, I found the tumult of looking for one too distracting to focus on a treatise.

The first challenge was, therefore, to write in the first place.

Luckily, in my last assignment I launched a somewhat successful e-journal in retail and fashion. I was the proud editor and was compelled to not only write but to also correct other writer’s pieces. However, when I finally got down to putting a manuscript together, I switched to fiction. Once I started it came out so smoothly and I cursed myself for not starting earlier. Looking at the calendar, I realized I was over sixty. But that didn’t stop me from starting my marathon running and I was sure I could do this for writing as well.

I decided to write a collection of short stories. I thought this would be easier than writing a single 50-thousand-plus words manuscript. There were many smaller hurdles to cross but I must say I enjoyed the ride. Often, I would write non-stop for hours. I wasn’t sure if what I wrote was good enough. So I selectively shared some of my works with alumni, my running mates and other friends. I wanted to guard against the ‘it is nice’ comments that friends are wont to say. However, I did discern that my writing had an appreciative reader. There was, of course, a lot of brushing up to do, but I would learn it along the way. Finally, over a year, I did complete a manuscript of 50-thousand-plus words, a collection of eight short stories.

I knew that publishing was another cup of tea that I would have to grapple with. I was keen not to self-publish but to go ahead with the old system of publisher-author relationships. This I thought would ensure that my writing stood on its own merits rather than being hoisted by self-serving thoughts.

Having read about ‘rejections’, I was ready for a long haul to find a genuine publisher. This started with research and listing of the top and commonly known publishers. I started my submissions of sample chapters and other information. Submitting online made things a lot easier but a number of the publishers were still old world, asking for hard copies which they would gladly sell by the weight. I smirked at the comments such as ‘if you don’t hear from us in three months, we will not be going ahead with your manuscript’ or ‘don’t call us, we’ll call you’. A number of publishers did send polite notes of ‘no’. It did help to hear something rather than nothing at all.

While scouring for publishers, one kept hearing about the ‘vanity press’. These are publishers who play up to one’s vanity and vulnerability by agreeing to accept your manuscript as a ‘conventional publisher’ but pushing in costs for editing, cover design, printing and myriad other things. After two publishers accepted my book, some hard research on the net threw up the ugly truth – that they were vanity press in mufti. I didn’t even bother to reply to them despite getting a ‘yes’.

When I did get a call from a publisher, not too familiar, but seemingly with clear credentials, I thought I must investigate further. What impressed me about them was that they were well organised, accessible and were able to give clear and meaningful explanations. An online search indicated that they were quite sturdy in distribution to book chains and independents. This was one of the important features I was looking for. While a lot of book retailing is going online, I thought that a store presence is important for a new writer like me.

In my research I was also able to pull out the publishers history and past association with authors; some of the books and authors had reached national status.  The publisher was also regularly participating in all the major book awards. By signing up for their newsletter, I was able to keep a track of their new book launches and even attended a couple of them.

Through references I was able to reach out to an established author for advice. He had already published three books which were medium successes. His publisher was Harper Collins. He was quite helpful in guiding me through the Agreement I was offered by my publisher.

I had been offered a straight classic type of publishing but with possible marketing delays or a shared cost basis with higher royalties which would put the whole arrangement on a fast track. The cost suggested was quite reasonable. I had also built confidence about the publisher by this time. So I decided to go ahead with the latter with the blessings of my wife and the writer-reference.

Unfortunately, the story does not end with ‘they lived happily ever after’.  Being new I didn’t realize what an enormous work needs to be done after the first draft of a manuscript. What I thought would take three months, took six. The editing itself took three whole months. The cover design and layout another month, not to talk of the printing and distribution process itself. While it was reasonably fast to sign up the online sites, the distribution to book stores on a national basis takes three whole months.

The author, especially a first time author, cannot completely rely on the publisher to market his book. The latter will do a basic job and at minimal costs. The author has to dig into his own resources, friends-circles and networking to make a din. Worst of all is that feedback is not easily forthcoming. The book retailers, especially the independents, are a law unto themselves. So one has to keep huffing and puffing and keep hoping that it is producing results. It is as much as a year before the numbers can actually speak.

There are no promises of success. A writer must write because he is a writer and nothing more. Today I have to divide my time three ways: my regular work, writing and the marketing of what I have written.”

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About Vinod Kaul

Vinod Kaul is an alumni Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedadab and St.Stephen’s College New Delhi. He has worked 40 years in fashion & retail and today he has refocused on writing and marathon running. His debut book, Confessions of an MBA and other stories, has just been published. The author can be contacted at : vinodkaul@outlook.com

Confessions of an MBA and other stories can be found on Flipkart and Amazon

150 books as Royalty Payment

Well, sort of.

But first, my apologies – I have not posted on this blog for nearly a fortnight. But yesterday, a phone conversation prompted me to write this post.

I had a very interesting discussion with Dr. Sujata Niyogi, author of seven books on numerology. She is also a consultant, advisor and an expert on all things numbers. She got her PhD at the very young age of 70 (yes, you read that correctly), and published her first book when she was nearly 75. She is working on her eighth book. I am proud to add that she happens to be my aunt.

The reason I am writing about her is twofold. First of all, I am amazed by the amount of effort she puts into research. She spends several hours in the library every day researching. Now some may say- reading books in a library in order to write books: Isn’t that a dying art? Isn’t that old school? Why not simply google it up? But as she told me,

“I am not that technology savvy. I prefer going to the library every day, taking notes, and then compiling this information into the first draft. Then, I have someone type it out for me in Marathi. Following a few rounds of reviews, I send the manuscript off to publishers.”

Marathi, my native language, is spoken largely in the state of Maharashtra in India. With 73  million speakers, there are more Marathi speakers than the entire population of United Kingdom.  Marathi happens to be one of the most vibrant markets for publishing in India, with several bestselling authors who have evoked interested in the printed word for generations.I will write more about the  Marathi book publishing industry in a later post.

Coming back to the topic: 150 books as Royalty.

Dr. Niyogi asked me about what sort of royalty I was expecting for my novel, and then went on to tell me her experience with traditional publishing. For example, her publisher took nearly two years  to publish her first book after she had submitted her manuscript. And the first royalty check came a year after the book was released. Three years to see the first check is a long time. She also mentioned that there was very little transparency in the process. For example, one had to rely solely on the publishers’ sales figures, and it was difficult to verify them independently. Moreover, the author has no control on the reprints. And then one has to follow up with the publishers multiple times to get the money. In other words, the system is heavily leaning in favor of the publisher. Some of this may obviously be known to many of you, so no surprises here.

But to counter this problem, Dr. Niyogi summed up in one line:

“Ask your publisher for a check up front for an amount that is equal to the selling price of 150 books.”

In other words, if the selling price (MRP) is Rs. 100, you ask for a royalty check of Rs. 15,000. If the MRP is Rs. 200, you ask for Rs. 30,000 and so forth. While these are very small amounts, and will hardly enable writing as a career option, her method will make sure that the writer does not lose money in the process.

Dr. Niyogi spends nearly 2 months per book on research. A visit to the library costs her Rs. 200 in commuting costs. Assuming 20 visits to the library every month, the cost of commute amounts to: 200*20*2 = Rs. 8,000

The person who types out the first draft charges nearly Rs. 6,000. In other words, the amount of money Dr. Niyogi spends up front for every book is:

8,000 + 6,000 = Rs. 14,000.

If one relies on the royalty received from sale of books for recovering this investment, one may have to wait for three years or even longer. But remember, it may take more than three years to recover the up front investment, because the royalty depends on the sales of the books, and sometimes the books may not sell at all.

Then we must also re-visit what we learnt in our financial literacy classes. Had this money been invested at say at 10 percent interest rate compounded annually for three years, the 14,000 rupees would have become nearly Rs. 18,600.

For a first print run of 1,000 books, and a MRP of Rs. 200, you get your 30,000 Rupees, and you don’t have to worry about the timelines, follow ups, compound interest or any other issue related to royalty payments. So while you wait for your book sales to take off, the 150 book principle can come to your rescue.

How to Price your book in India – Part II

In my previous post, I had mentioned that I had compiled some data on the Top 20 English language fiction/nonfiction books that were listed on the online bookstores in India. Towards the end of the post, I had also listed down a few questions that arose as I saw the results of my work. These are mere observations, and not trends for the industry, and I do not claim to be an expert when I try and answer those questions.

But before that, how does the raw data look like? I am posting a screenshot of the sample data I collected:

Raw data collected from Amazon.in for top 20 selling books
Data on top 20 selling books on Amazon.in

a. Which category of books is selling more: Fiction, or Nonfiction?

This came as a surprise to me. I have been informally scanning the top selling books on the websites, particularly, Flikpart, Amazon.in and Infibeam over the past year and the top selling books have mostly been in the fiction category. One possible reason why nonfiction books feature so prominently across the sites is as follows. Most of these books are study guides for competitive guides, and the season for bank officers, civil services and other competitive exams is round the corner. This could be a seasonal factor, and in a few months’ time, say by end of May, one may see fewer nonfiction books.

b. What is the ratio for number of fiction: non-fiction books sold?

In the above image, there is a ratio for number of Fiction and the Non Fiction Books that are sold (F:NF). For print book, this ratio stands at 0.82, that is, 8 out of the top 20 selling books on Amazon.in as on 28th March were in the Fiction category. This ratio varies depending on the site, and the format of the book (print versus ebook). For example, the F:NF ratio is 1 for print books on Flipkart and Crossword. On the other hand, this ratio is 2.33 on Google Play store, implying that more number of fiction ebooks are sold on that site than nonfiction. Conversely, on Infibeam, nonfiction books outsold fiction books by a ratio of 5:1.

c. Do the same books figure across the stores in these lists?

While I did not track this information specifically, the answer is that in case of fiction, one can see the same names, particularly books by Amish Tripathi and Chetan Bhagat. Books by other authors such as Rashmi Bansal also figure prominently. In case of nonfiction, the study guides for a couple of competitive exams were seen in the top 20 lists for print books across multiple sites. In some cases, the sellers have discounted the price that may have caused a particular book to figure in the top 20 list.

c. What were the number of pages for these books?

I felt this question was a little difficult to answer because of two reasons. In general, nonfiction books, particularly study guides, seem to have a higher page count (average of 500 pages) compared to fiction (average page count: 325). I was surprised by the 200 plus page count for fiction, because I believed that a typical fiction book in the romance/ YA category would range between 200 and 250 pages. The higher average could be because the mythology books (particularly by Amish) and historical fiction tend to have a higher page count.

d. How many comments/ stars has the book received. Do they play a role in the sale of the books?

The short answer is Yes. For print books sold on Amazon for example, the average number of reviews for a top 20 selling book was 65 (fiction & NF combined), while the average rating was 4.4 stars. Similarly for the ebooks sold on Google Play store, the number of reviews was 357,while the average rating was 3.8. Am I probably stating the obvious here!

e. Do self published books figure in the top 20 selling books?

The answer in this case, unfortunately, is No. Across every site, irrespective of the type of book or the format (print or ebook), only the boos published by traditional publishers figures in the top 20 selling list. Does that mean that  a self published author cannot crack the Top 20 charts? Time will only tell. The other implication here could be that for a non-Indian author who is trying to sell their books in India and aspire to make it to the charts, self publishing-only might need a re-think. For those thinking of higher royalty earnings, this also could be the way to go. For example, a 200 age fiction book is listed for more than 750 Rupees (12.5 dollars) on one of the sited. This book has been published by a US based publisher, and they have probably retained the pricing across the globe. Of course, we are talking about an author who has sold many. many books till date. (Update: The selling price for this book has been discounted to 420 Rupees or 7 Dollars now).

f. Are there any other trends or patterns that show up?

I have put together this section to distract you, the reader, from the disappointing news posted above. I am going to post some random pieces of information here for you to digest.

*How long has it been since these top 20 selling books were published?

Is it logical to assume that the books meant to help in preparation for competitive exams were published in recent months. But for fiction, some of the top selling books go as far as 2011. One reason for these books to figure on the list could be because they have been deeply discounted, often to the extent of 60 percent of the MRP.

*I ask again, what about ebooks?

Average MRP of an ebook on Google Play store was 80 Rupees, or nearly a Euro at the current exchange rate. On the far end of the spectrum, the MRP of a Adobe ebook on Landmark was almost the same as a print book, and in some cases, twice the price of a print book. Average MRP of ebooks on Amazon was Rs. 74, or a 1.25 US Dollars, but that is largely because six or seven books from the Ron Fry series figure on the top 20 list. Each book is priced at 4 Rupees (less than 10 cents). Udpate: Amazon has updated the list on the day I am posting this blog.

As for nook and ibooks or other formats- sorry I didn’t look into them because nook isn’t available in India yet, and market for ibooks is very small.  Flipkart do have their proprietary ebook format, and I did not look into it in detail. And then we have the new member to the party, Kobo. They have a tie up with Corssword, and I thought that their new titles are priced on the higher side, with their top 20 selling books priced at an average of 211 Rupees. I hope to discuss with the folks at Kobo about this in the near future.

*If the print version of a book is in the Top 20 list, does it mean its ebook version will also be in the list?

Not necessary. This may be true for Indian fiction books which were published an year ago or older, but not for majority of the newer fiction titles and certainly not for nonfiction books. For books by foreign authors, ebook versions of their new titles are available, but the need not figure in the top 20 list.

*Have you covered all the major online stores which sell books in India?

No, there are other sites such as Snapdeal, Rediff, Indiatimes shopping, authors’ websites, and e-commerce stores of publishers.

*Why did you write these long, long posts?

I wrote these posts with a simple intention of sharing with you, the readers, what I found.

*What about the market for Non-English Books?

It is true that the market for non-english books in India is much bigger than that for english books, and I hope to follow up with a similar work for books in Hindi and Marathi, the two languages that I am fluent in. Possibly Gujarati, which I can read as well. But for other languages, I would encourage others to come up with similar analysis so that others may also benefit. I have the greatest respect for regional language books, and I am posting ths image below to highlight why regional language books matter.

vernacular
Translations Rule

*Can I look at the raw data?

Yes, you may. I am including the file March 2014 Top 20 lists

How to Price your Book in India

A few weeks ago, I heard a podcast by Joanna Penn in which she interviewed author Minal Hajratwala.  A part of the discussion dealt with the ebooks, self publishing, and particularly pricing for the Indian market. The issue of pricing for the Indian market was also discussed by Joanna during her interview in the Self Publishing Podcast (I have been a silent listener of both these podcasts so far). I had been thinking of this issue myself, because I am exploring the option of self publishing Now, Returned to India. Let me also note that I have sent the final manuscript to a traditional publisher and am awaiting their response, which may take a few more months.

While investigating the market for self publishing in India, I came across a few sites which had guides or calculators for pricing self published books. (For example: Notionpress, a self publishing company, has a royalty calculator that gives the suggested Maximum Retail Price (MRP) based on the type of the print book (Paperback/Hardcover), size of the book, and number of pages. You can find it here. Note that I have no affiliation with Notionpress, except that my fellow alum and  author Anirban Das self published his book through them recently.

Coming back to the topic, bookstores often mark down the prices in terms of discounts or bundle them with other books every now and then. Then there is the problem of piracy. For example, a street peddler may sell a book for a third of what a bookstore sells it for. Therefore, a royalty calculator alone might not be a good indicator to determine how to price a book. That got me thinking: is there a different indicator that one can use? As I gathered more and more information, a few questions kept cropping up in my mind. What type of books sell the most in bookstores, both online and offline? What is the typical price of these books? What is the number of pages? And finally, what about ebooks?

In order to find answers to these questions, I scanned the top 20 bestselling books on the websites of the following stores in India. In alphabetical order: Amazon.in, Crossword, Infibeam, Flipkart, Google Play, and Landmark bookstores. I also looked at the pricing for ebooks on Kobo, I went through Crossword bookstores site for this purpose. Based on this information, I have developed a table that lists the MRP per page across these stores for the print books as well as eBooks. Also,I have tried to arrive at the median prices for MRP per page for fiction and ebooks based on the information available. I hope that this will will be helpful to those of you who are looking to sell their books written in English in the Indian market.

MRP data
MRP Per page for top 20 selling books

What does this table mean?

As an example let us consider a fiction book of nearly 300 pages. On an average, a this book has a MRP of Rupees 255 (300 *0.85). If we consider the median, the same fiction book should cost Rs. 234 (0.78*234). The ebook version of this book would be around half that price at Rupees 133. I have included both the average and the median price because of the large variation in the price of the ebooks across the stores, depending on the format of the book. This data only provides some guideline for pricing the English languages books in the Indian market, and should be treated as an indicator and not as an absolute.

Fiction may include Romance/Humor/Satire/Literary fiction/ Mythology or Historical fiction, while nonfiction includes everything else. While this could be an over generalization, and I am sure some purists may not agree with my approach, please note that this is the first time I conducted such an exercise. As I learn more about the book publishing market in India, I might add more categories in subsequent studies.

Let me also clarify a few things up front. I have based the results on the data that I obtained from the websites of online/physical bookstores. While I do not have the sales figures,  it is reasonable to assume that sale of books from online bookstores is a very small percentage of the total number of books sold in India. Also note that I have looked at books in the English language only. The market for books in local languages is much larger than the market for English language books.I have also not discussed it with the folks who are in the business- representatives of the publishers, category heads for online booksellers, etc. I plan to do a similar review in the coming months, and will try and get their views to make this effort more worthwhile for the readers. And finally, I had to use my judgement for compiling the list of top 10 selling books each in fiction and nonfiction in a few cases (e.g. Crossword Bookstores, which did not rank its top selling books).

I have also not listed the names of the books, author or the publishers in the compilation. I did this for two reasons: first of all, I manually entered the data into a spreadsheet, since I am not savvy enough to automate the process via writing software for it. (If someone is willing to help me on that front, I will be glad to take their help!) Secondly, the titles in this list are likely to change with time. But I believe that the the ratios are likely to stay the same range. These ratios include: MRP per page, MRP per page (fiction), MRP per page (ebook), ratio of fiction:nonfiction books, etc. Of these, the last ration (fiction:nonfiction) may change in three to four months’ time, I will explain in my subsequent post why this could be the case.

At each store, I looked up the following information

a. Which category of books is selling more: Fiction, or Nonfiction?

b. What was the MRP of the book?

c. What were the numbers of pages for these books?

d. How many comments/ stars has the book received? Do they play a role in the sale of the books?

e. Do self published books figure in the top 20 selling books?

f. Are there any other trends or patterns that show up when we look at the data? For example – recency factor: how long has it been since these books were published? Which author’s books figure the most on these lists? Also, in fiction category, which types of books figure the most, etc?

In order to keep this post as brief as possible, I will upload the detailed report tomorrow where I discuss the findings and try and answer the questions posed above.

added later:

I have considered the MRP for books because the selling price may vary from store to store. Moreover, there may be a transaction cost involved that may extend beyond the MRP or the selling price. For example, the time and effort cost of visiting a physical bookstore, or shipping charges applied to a book when buying from an online bookstore.

For the same book, the MRP per page may vary for different formats of the ebook (epub versus mobi,etc.). Whenever I was able to compile this information, I did go ahead and add it to my results.