Posts Tagged ‘Book Sales’


PM Press just published my latest book, Godless: 150 Years of Disbelief, which I compiled/edited. Here’s their description of the book:
Godless is a compilation of wide-ranging texts, both hilarious and horrifying, on atheism, belief, and religion. The selections in the book appeared in various formats from the late nineteenth century through the early twenty-first, and their authors were often active in the anarchist, Marxist, or radical leftist movements of their day. Derived from printed pamphlets, books by small publishers, and essays that appeared in widely distributed newspapers, these texts serve as freethinking propaganda in a media war against morbid authoritarian doctrines.
With both a sophisticated analysis of inconsistencies in deistic beliefs and a biting satirical edge, Godless gives ammunition to those fighting fundamentalist bigotry—and more than a few reasons to abandon Christianity.
Readers previously familiar with the authors’ political polemics will be rewarded in contemplating another side of their remarkable literary output. Contributors include Emma Goldman, Ambrose Bierce, Chaz Bufe, E. Haldeman-Julius, Earl Lee, Johann Most, Joseph McCabe, Matilda Gage, Pamela Sutter, S.C. Hitchcock, and Sébastien Faure.

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PM is offering a 50% discount on Godless (with the coupon code JULY) until July 31.

And speaking of 50% discounts, See Sharp Press’s 50% off sale on all books (and even greater discounts on our anarchist and atheist pamphlet collections) continues, but will end this coming Sunday, July 31.


From now through June 30 all See Sharp Press hard-copy books are 50% off when ordered on the See Sharp site or by mail. This is a great time to save on all of our new and recent titles, such as Corrupted Science, by John Grant (now only $9.97), and Venezuelan Anarchism: The History of a Movement, by Rodolfo Montes de Oca (now $8.47).

Corrupted Science front coverAll of our backlist titles such as our very popular music instructional and reference books, including The Drummer’s Bible: How to Play Every Drum Style from Afro-Cuban to Zydeco, by Mick Berry and Jason Gianni (now only $17.47 for the best-selling drum title published this century) and Musical Instrument Design, by Bart Hopkin, are also on sale.

Shipping is free for orders of $49.99 or more, and only $3.50 per order (not per item) for smaller orders. (Due to sky-high overseas shipping rates, this sale is limited to domestic orders.)

All discounted titles are now up on the See Sharp books page.

Drummer’s Bible front cover

We’ll be keeping the books available indefinitely, but it’s a different story with the pamphlets. The remaining pamphlets are even more heavily discounted than the books; they’re available on the See Sharp pamphlets page. (We sold over 100,000 of them in the ’80s, ’90s, and early ’00s, and are down to a few doszen each of the remaining titles. When they’re gone, they’re gone.)

Drummer’s Bible front cover


Publishing industry newsletter Shelf Awareness reports that in the third quarter Amazon lost a staggering $437 million, compared with a $41 million loss a year ago, while net sales were up 21.6% over the same period in 2013 to $20.58 billion., which was below industry forecasts. (The losses were in part due to the total flop of Amazon’s  Fire phone, which was years in development and cost Amazon untold millions in R&D.) As a result of its continuing losses (95 cents a share in the third quarter), its below-forecast sales growth, and its continued large issuings of stock to itsexecutives  ($1.4 billion worth over the last year, with another $470 million coming in the fourth quarter), Amazon–which has never paid a dividend to its stockholders–has seen its stock price drop over 30% since its all-time high of $408.06 in late 2013 to $279.75 now.

Summing up the situation, Matthew Finston, on the financial site SeekingAlphawrites:  “The company gets to handsomely award management, exploit its employees, short-change investors [by diluting stock], and when all is said and done Amazon gets a nice little tax deduction from Uncle Sam.”

Interestingly, Amazon’s media sales (books, e-books, movies, tv shows) grew only 4.8% over its third-quarter 2013 sales. One suspects that physical book sales were the least robust in that area, likely because of the huge amount of adverse publicity Amazon generated for itself via its very public dispute with Hachette over e-book pricing. This 4.8% growth is by far the slowest Amazon has ever experienced in that area, and is far from impressive given the ever-expanding number of titles in all of its “media sales” categories.

Finally, one  factor nobody in the book biz is talking about that accounts in part for Amazon’s previously very robust growth in book sales is, quite probably, falling working and middle class income. Average income fell again last year by a small amount ($79), but median income (half above, half below) has fallen a staggering 12% since G.W. Bush took office in 2001, and it has not recovered under Obama’s corporate-friendly regime. When people are feeling pressured economically, they cut back on spending, and they become very price conscious.  In the case of books, that pushes them into the arms of Amazon, which uses books (7% of its total sales) as loss leaders. (A great many of the other products Amazon offers are not bargains.)

For another take on Amazon, we’d recommend Jim Hightower’s piece on Alternet.