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May 03, 2005

Comments

dan bloom

rejection letter Number 118

Dear Danny,

I am terribly sorry to report that I could not drum up the same level of
excitement for your project that I had, among the other acquisitions editors
and sales reps.

The prevailing thought was that, while it is an interesting
and "cute" (not my word) book project, it would have a difficult time
finding a spot in bookstores and selling through in the market.

As you know,
it is an unusual presentation, to say the least. But it's also very
original, truly inspiring, and genuine.

It's just unfortunate that that kind
of thought -- *how booksellers will look at a project* -- very often colors
our opinions these days as publishers.

Good luck in placing this book with the right publisher who can see it's
potential.

Signed
XYZ

Owen

And all of that is why there is a booming (and I mean BOOMING) market in the range of low-end publiching that goes from really poor POD up to small, fast-moving independent presses.

I actually think the blame can be spread equally pretty much up and down the chain although I do agree that a special extra serving can go to agents whose main claim to be in teh process at all is to be the author's AGENT (in other words - ACTING on their behalf).

But lets look at the rest of it.

Bookstores - don't take chances. don't market books very well themselves. It shouldn't actually be POSSIBLE for a book to sell at Walmart - the prospective buyer should have already bought it smewhare else. Can be remarkably unprofessional themsleves.

Distributors - somehow inserted a completely unecessary middleman into the process. Amazon built a whole business out of replacing them (and grabbing a big pile of bookstore business in the process). In more modern terms, this is supply-chain management and it would be interesting to find out if a computer, some software and UPS could repace them. This is one area that I KNOW there is room for the book business to take back some control.

Publishers - it is inconceivable that publishers don't actively seek author education and dialogue. How can both parties position the book right if they don't?


Agents - not going there....


Authors - it's your book - how can you not care? You ought to be interested in every tiny detail of the process. If you aren't then why did you send the manuscript to a publisher?

I just started a small publishing company. Press Fo Change Publishing (www.pressforchange.com) and our first ttle is officially launching in June in bookstores and on Amazon, but it can already be pre-ordered at our site now and I and all the 24 other authors will be actively selling it as of next week online.

Local bookstores will also be carrying it and anyone who wants to order it can. But I'm not fighting to get into B&T or Ingram or onto the shelves at B&N or Borders. My business plan assumes that I will sell at most 10% through traditional channels, even though it is available that way (it is listed on Amazon right now for example). All of the authors are actively involved. I will be providing them with talking points for interviews. They are getting a larger royalty (double) than the standard in the industry. And I only need to sell 900 copies to break even. I have a launch event at two local venues, one at a great independent bookstore and one at a Farmers Market as part of a larger event (the book is a food book)

So, I invite you to tell me what's wrong with this approach. (Of course, I do need to actually sell some copies...) I'm serious. The biggest downside for me so far has been the huge amount of work and huge learning curve - I will need to sell out the print run to actually pay for my time. But when I do a second book it will be a LOT easier.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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