Friday, January 12, 2007

Your Self Published Book

The following is from an e-newsletter to which I subscribe, appearing in my email inbox today. A fascinating read--be sure to visit the website.

In this first issue of seventh year of Independent Publisher Online, we offer Nina L. Diamond's take on the publishing "caste system," breaking authors at a publishing house into three groups: Moneymakers, Up-and-Comers, and Untouchables. "If you’re an Untouchable author, you and your agent are gonna have to fight just to get your book properly distributed, re-printed when and if the first printing sells out, and shipped when orders come in from retail outlets," writes Diamond. "As for reviews, press attention, book signings, and other promotional efforts, you’re on your own."
As the Book Awards season heats up, we reprint an article featuring tips from both award winners and judges. From the Trunk of the Car to the Big Screen is my rant about what it takes to succeed in self-publishing and includes an Eragon update. This month's Crazy Book Marketing Idea of the Month features Kip Cosson, who sells books - lots of books - at the street fairs, craft shows, and holiday markets of Manhattan.
Plus, columnist Fern Reiss explains how to get still more media attention for your book; Nina L. Diamond tells about birthing a book project; plus Tip #5 of John Kremer's 24-Point Book Marketing Action List; our ongoing BookExpo America update; our 25 new Highlighted Titles and the latest Industry Update.

Friday, January 05, 2007

The Class Had It Right

Some of our readers may remember a conversation in class about the book industry's plan to swamp the market during the holiday season with big name authors, hot-topic books, and promotion. As I remember the discussion, we decided it would not work. Well, we were right!!! Check out the following, courtesy of Publishers Lunch:

More Bad Holiday News
Two of the three big chains reported bad sales for the nine-week stretch through December 30: Barnes & Noble termed it "somewhat disappointing sales for the season in a highly promotional and competitive environment," with comparable store sales slipping 0.1 percent at the superstores at $1.1 billion overall (putting them down 0.3 percent on a comp basis for the 48-week period, at $4.1 billion). sales rose 2.7 percent to $108.5 million for the holidays, but are still down 2.4 percent from a year ago for 48 weeks, at $376 million. B. Dalton, an increasingly small part of the company overall, did just $28.4 million in sales during the holidays, and $94 million for the nearly completed year. Same-store sales suffered more at Books-a-Million, down 2.1 percent, at $124.5 million for the holidays. BAM's comp-store decline for the 48 weeks of the fiscal year is similar to BN's, at 0.4 percent. CEO Sandra Cochran says in the release, "Sales for the holiday season were below expectations as we confronted a quiet media environment and strong comparable sales in the prior year. The absence of a major movie tie-in affected both traffic and sales. A strong lineup in fiction performed well but could not offset the performance of the media-related titles in fiscal 2006."

Monday, January 01, 2007

More Book Institute

The Community Learning Department's Book Institute is back for the winter session!

There are two new classes that might strike your fancy: Business & Marketing Writing and Mystery Writing. Both are online classes, so you don't even need to come to campus to take them. More info at

On Campus, there will be Self-Publish & Sell Your Book for those who want to do it themselves, The Key to Finding a Publisher for those who would rather have an agent or publisher do the work, Think Like a Writer for those who may wish a bit of a mental tune up and Write Your Life Story Workshop, a great way to get it all on paper. More info at