Posts tagged ‘publishing’

March 23, 2012

The Grass is Greener at St. Martin’s Press

Someone wanted to get the staff at St. Martin’s Pres really stoned. The Smoking Gun reported that over eleven pounds of marijuana were mailed to St. Martin’s Press by a mystery sender. The pot was intercepted by postal workers after one noticed a “suspicious odor” coming from the package.

The package o’ pot, which is estimated to be worth about $70,000, was addressed to “Karen Wright”, someone that St. Martin’s says doesn’t exist at their company and the return address read “ATB Books”, which is also nonexistent. Galley Cat asks the important question: Who is Karen Wright?  Her name apparently has no literary connotations that anyone can think of.

Now that the story has broke, a #PotLit hashtag is creeping up on Twitter. Oh the fun people can have with that! Makes me want to read some Richard Brautigan right now!

February 22, 2012

The Enigma of a Best Seller

What makes a book a best seller? The answer still alludes literary agents and publishing houses alike. An article in The New York Times, titled The Greatest Mystery: Making a Best Seller, looks at what makes a book a best seller. In the end, the experts are still scratching their heads.

According to the article, many times a book is predicted to be a big hit and goes to auction, it falls flat; and many times a book is predicted to have low sales, it rises to best seller status. Literary agent, Brian DeFiore asks: “Is it the cover? The title? The buzz wasn’t there? Timing? It wasn’t that good?”

William Strachen, editor in chief at Carrol & Graff Publishers says: “It’s an accidental profession, most of the time. . . If you had the key, you’d be very wealthy. Nobody has the key.

Once a book is picked up by a publisher, it generally gets a marketing makeover, but before a book is picked up, much of the time, publishers rely on their gut feeling about how a book will sell. The article points to the fact that, unlike other industries such as gaming and television, publishers don’t have enough contact with their customers to know what they buy and what they want to see more of.

Susan Rabiner, agent and former editorial director says: “Before Amazon, we didn’t even know what people thought of the books.

Okay, get it together publishing people. What’s wrong with a little marketing research?

January 14, 2012

Amanda Hocking’s Urge to See The Muppets Landed Her a Book Deal

Anyone who knows about Amanda Hocking, the young woman who decided to publish her paranormal novels herself on Amazon, may not realize her decision to self-publish was inspired by the Muppets. Ed Pilkington of The Guardian reported yesterday:

“To understand the vital Muppet connection we have to go back to April 2010. We find Hocking sitting in her tiny, sparsely furnished apartment in Austin, Minnesota. She is penniless and frustrated, having spent years fruitlessly trying to interest traditional publishers in her work. To make matters worse, she has just heard that an exhibition about Jim Henson, the creator of the Muppets, is coming to Chicago later that year and she can’t afford to make the trip. As a huge Muppets fan, she is more than willing to drive eight hours but has no money for petrol, let alone a hotel for the night. What is she to do?

Then it comes to her. She can take one of the many novels she has written over the previous nine years, all of which have been rejected by umpteen book agents and publishing houses, and slap them up on Amazon and other digital ebook sites. Surely, she can sell a few copies to her family and friends? All she needs for the journey to Chicago is $300 (£195), and with six months to go before the Muppets exhibition opens, she’s bound to make it.”

She sure made it, all right. The twenty-seven-year-old writer has made over a million dollars selling her e-books from 99 cents – $2.99 each.  While many accuse her of that frightful term, “vanity publishing”, Hocking’s success is indicative of the quickly changing publishing world. A recent survey reported that only six of the top 25 bestselling indie authors on Kindle had ever had book deals with publishers.

So what does this mean for those of us who keep collecting rejection slips and refuse to give up trying for a book deal? Do we throw in the towel and start publishing ourselves? Will this make us less reputable? I guess I’m not reputable at all since I haven’t published my novel IN ANY form. But for now, I’m not ready to give up. I just want to see my book in print in book form. Is that bad?

When all’s said and done, by doing what I’m refusing to do (for now), Hocking has finally landed herself a book deal with St. Martin’s Press and can now see the Muppets anywhere she pleases.

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