Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Free-For-All

This one's short and sweet: what do you you want to see me blog about? Co-op? Sales kits? Comp titles? What I'm currently reading? All of the above?

I've already heard requests for posts on international sales and on the relationship between accounts and small/self-pubbed authors, and those posts are in the works. To the rest of you: comment away!

28 comments:

  1. You can't post too many times on the state of the market, or on why you think that any given New Big Thing (not by someone already bestselling) achieves that status.

    I don't even know what comp titles are, so that'd be nice to learn. The importance of the key buyer at B&N? What's her name? I forgot? But learning more about her job and impact and that of other less-known gatekeepers would be fascinating.

    Posts that focus on various genres would be great, too. That is, answering the same questions about romance on one day, then thrillers, then urban fantasy, then literary, then YA, etc.

    What you bring is numbers. So I'd love to see breakdowns of where the dollars (er, and pennies) end up when one book is sold.

    A behind-the-scenes look at sales meetings. The interaction between sales and editorial. A dissection of a Big Flop (if you're interested, I'll email you privately with my own ...).

    Just for starters!

    JR

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  2. I would like to hear about small presses. Essentially, I'm curious about methods for authors who are published by small presses can better market their work both to retailers and the general public.

    Thanks,
    Teresa

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  3. I don't know what I don't know, so I'm eager to read whatever obscure information you can share. The more I do know, the better.

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  4. First of all, I love your blog, think it's a great idea. My question is: I'd like to know if you have any insight, from your side of the profession, on what someone who is very close to being published (has an agent, good reviews from editors, just no one pulling the trigger) should do in today's crazy economic climate. Just keep submitting away, or are there some things you're seeing that are being used effectively as pitches from the editors as to why their book will succeed? I.e., author so and so has a blog readership, author so and so does this or that. thanks!

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  5. I'm interested in hearing more about marketing. What will the publisher do (assuming that we're talking about a major publishing house with a marketing budget), and what can/should the author do independently? Also, how do publishers decide how to allocate their marketing dollars, given that there are multiple books competing for the same funds?

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  6. All of the above! You have a great blog. Thank you for the information.

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  7. My two cents are for co-op -- what it is, how you decide the amounts for which titles, what it means, etc.

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  8. I'd love for you to address sales' role in acquisitions and how much your input is considered. Also, your experience with time lines, timing, etc., from acquisitions to publication (specifically, I have authors who complain that we're generating covers and marketing copy many months in advance of publication; they expected us to be more "laid back" schedulewise than NY publishers).

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  9. Hi,

    I love your blog - it's so useful (and witty, which is good too).

    My first novel is coming out with Reagan Arthur books next year. The marketing and publicity people are great, but I want to know what I can do to help?

    I'm British. I have no platform. What can I do to help sell books?

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  10. Hey! Great blog.

    What can unpublished authors DO RIGHT NOW that will make them more attractive to a publishing house when they go on submission? Do websites matter? Blogs? How many followers? Friends on Facebook? Accounts on Twitter? Really, how much does social networking matter?

    Once a book is acquired, what should authors do? How much promotion? Through what avenues? What does the publishing house do that the author doesn't need to worry about?

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  11. Comment on anything you like. You're engaging enough to keep me coming back, regardless of content.

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  12. Got any good stories of cover/jacket art gone horribly, horribly wrong? I would like to hear about how the marketing department puts the wrapper on the book and tries to get us all to buy it.

    What about unique marketing campaigns for books? what was the most unusual way a good book was hyped up before it's release?

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  13. Any tips on pitching novels?

    It would be greatly appreciated as most writers, including myself, seem to have a difficult time with that sort of thing.

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  14. I want to know it all, and then some. I appreciate honesty, even the brutal sort. So, keep the wonderful posts coming.

    I second anonymous's suggestion regarding focusing on genres. I'm more interested in YA then other genres, but that's just a personal thing. I think there is a big difference in terms of selling and marketing different genres, and when I read articles or books that are too broad in these areas I feel like I am only getting part of the story.

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  15. I'd like to know more about comp titles... specifically if authors have any say in which titles they're books are compared to. (Can authors even make suggestions via their agent or some other medium?)

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  16. Just got the call. My YA sold. For crap money, but in this market I'd settle for a handful of grain and most of a chicken.

    Which, actually, I just -did-. Still, I'm pretty happy.

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  17. I agree with some of the others above. I'd like to know about small presses and if it's important for an unpublished writer to begin marketing his or herself via websites, blogs, facebook, etc.

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  18. Excellent blog!

    What author activities do you feel are most effective in promoting sales of their books?

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  19. Anon 2:46:

    CONGRATS! That is awesome! I hope you sell a gazillion copies and make your money in royalties.

    Best Wishes!
    Laurel

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  20. I agree with the above comments on "what can an author do to help sell their book." Also, does it make a difference if you go into selling a book knowing there's going to be a sequel/series? Keep up the good work and humor!

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  21. Congratulations, Anonymous! Crap money, grain, chicken and all.

    I wish you the best and sales galore!

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  22. how and why sales has become more influential on the pub board, examples of a book the editors were behind but was still rejected due to the sales/marketing team (this happened with my non-fiction proposal at several houses, but I got an offer in the end from a medium-sized house that asked me to rewrite the book to make it appeal to a braoder audience)

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  23. Hi Eric,

    Besides all the great suggestions above, one of the things I've always wondered about is what criteria determine which books get turned into movies. Is it something the pub house goes after? Is it something where movie studios contact the pub house?

    I don't know if you'd be the best person to answer that, but I figured I'd throw it out there. Either way, I will avidly read the next post.

    -Matt

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  24. Are all sales created equal? Is there a difference, particularly with respect to royalties, if a book sells, say 1,000 copies each at Borders and Amazon, which might sell the book for less. Also, I've noticed that B&N often sells books for less online than in their stores. How does that affect the publisher (and ultimately the writer)?

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  25. Best blog I've found (and since I have a book coming out, your words are like rain in a drought of stupidity.)

    Perhaps some words on how the sales department, et al, feel about working with a publicist (good one) hired by the author.

    Thanks, oh great god of publishing information!

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  26. I second the anon at 2:35. How do cut price paperback sales affect royalties if the % is a % of sales price?

    How do the various types of format function together or independently - trade vs hardback vs paperback and ultimately remaindering?

    How the behind the scenes works of getting accepted and the stages of acceptance in-house that a book needs to go through before a 'yes' reaches the author?

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  27. I'd love to know what an author should be doing 12 months before debut, 9 months before, 6 months before.

    Also, I'd love to know what you think is worthwhile or not worth the time regarding social marketing (facebook, twitter, blogging, etc), specifically for a debut YA author.

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