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A Glimpse into Traditional Publishing

December 02, 2008 by Kat Gautreaux, Account Manager

Over the last couple of days, I've been contacting some of our Wheatmark authors to say hello and see what they were up to.

Most often this is the conversation I have:

ME: Hello this is me, how are you? How is your book doing? What are you working on?
THEM: Weeeeellll ... I haven't really done much with the book because it isn't selling and I don't have the money to hire someone to do publicity ...
ME: (Sounding very much like a TimeLife Books Series commercial from the 1980s) Have you tried using the techniques in our FREE book marketing workbook?
ME: It's awesome. I'll send it to you!
THEM: Thanks!

There is another trickier topic the authors and I have talked about: Traditionally publishing a book.

Seen as the Holy Grail to many self-published authors, traditional publishing promises the sparkling literary lights of New York and L.A.

Or does it?

Many self-published authors aren't familiar with what it really means to traditionally publish a book. They assume that shelf space at the local Barnes and Noble will open up, a marketing department will be thrown behind them, and movie studios will clamber to option their book with Natalie Portman starring in the main role (possibly while the author sits by the pool drinking mai tais).

And sometimes, this happens.

Mostly though, it doesn't. The initial thrill of being chosen will wear off quickly as the author realizes they've lost control of the rights to their project, or that the book will be minimally released, not supported by the company's marketing department, and then find their title canceled not too long after. And! They'll still be called upon to work on the marketing of the book. Exhausting!

But for those seeking the challenge, expense, and potential heartbreak at a shot at best-seller status, I want to direct you to a fantastic blog entry by Jessica at BookEnds, LLC, a literary agency.

Their post entitled The Anatomy of a Book Deal is a great eye-opener to what it takes to be published and how the process works!

Check it out!

Tags: marketing, authors, traditional publishing
Filed Under: Publishing,


James D. Best pic

I was disappointed to read that many authors give up because their book sales are not what they expected. Everyone wants to believe that just putting their book out there will cause sales. The truth is that selling books is a hard slog that takes time. As the November 26 post below says, The Shopkeeper hit an Amazon ranking of 2,464 in late November. What the post below doesn’t mention is that this was almost exactly one year after the book became available on Amazon.  The book sales started slooow and gradually picked up pace until The Shopkeeper reached the top 10 selling westerns. Now it holds it own and pulls The Shut Mouth Society along with it.<BR><BR>This post is also accurate about the traditional publishing industry. I have published with Wiley and I can assure you that until you become a branded name in your field or genre, the onus for marketing is still on the author with traditional publishing houses. <BR><BR>The amazing thing about Amazon is that it provides authors so many ways to promote their book from their living room. Get a couple guides on how to sell on Amazon and spend time looking at books in your category. Now set a realistic goal. Don’t aim to sell a zillion copies. Instead, set a goal to sell more copies this month than last month. Do that for six months and you’ll be surprised how your book moves up in the rankings.

posted on 12/5/2008 by James D. Best

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