Authors Cannot Rely On Publishers to Sell Books!
I wanted to ask my editor, "Do you ever really feel you're navigating the Titanic?"
Soon after all, publishing has hit an iceberg when giant bookseller Barnes & Noble decides to put itself on the sales block.
In the best days, the company model publishers utilized of consigning their merchandise to retailers, was fundamentally flawed. When books did not sell briskly, retailers could return them for full credit, months and even years later. Still, for the longest time, the winning titles compensated for droves of losers.
My concern about the soundness of the consignment model dates back to my days as a leading salesperson and then sales manager with Time-Life Books, the hardbound relative to Time, Life, Cash, Sports Illustrated, and Fortune magazines.
At our division, we sold directly to the consumer, utilizing what I suppose you may also call a variant of consignment: the famous 10-day trial. We asked folks to evaluate the first title in a series, and if they liked it, if it sold itself, they would pay for it. If not, it could be returned without further obligation.
The average buyer went on to acquire a good number of books in the overall library, every reviewable for 10 days. Boldly, we invited consumers to "Cancel anytime!"
We owned vast forests, my New York manager when told me, as well as the printing presses, and the indicates of acquiring our volumes into the consumer's hands our own circulation companies, for which I labored.
Nothing was left to likelihood. Our books sold well, because we sold them nicely.
The Titanic is not the greatest disaster metaphor to describe the state of book publishing, nowadays.
It's far more like Pearl Harbor.
The Web has perpetrated a sneak attack. Instead of bombs and bullets and aircraft, the weapons used against publishers have been web web sites, ezines, blogs a veritable Flotilla of Free of charge info and entertainment.
Ebooks promise to deliver some profits to publishers that adapt.
For most authors, books will sell properly when we have sold them nicely.
We know this simply because today, conventional publishers insist that authors supply "platforms," which is a word signifying paying book purchasers. If you are a fixture on Tv and radio, or you speak ahead of throngs in conventions, worldwide, you have a platform.
If you have a platform, why would you want to share your profits with publishers, who will give you nickels on the dollar, in royalties?
Authors require to become their own Time-Life organizations, taking total responsibility for the success of their titles. From conception to obtain, the publishing life cycle is falling far more and much more into our own hands.
Dr. Gary S. Goodman is a leading speaker, sales, service, and negotiation consultant, attorney, Television and radio commentator and the ideal-selling author of 12 books. He conducts seminars and speaks at convention programs about the globe. He is the creator of "Very best Practices in Negotiation," a best-rated program at U.C. Berkeley and UCLA Extension and his new audio program is Nightingale-Conant's "Crystal Clear Communication: How to Explain Anything Clearly in Speech & Writing." He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.