Ideas From Published Authors Needed
"After posting about some interesting movements in the music industry, Colleen at Loose Leaf Notes asked me to look into book publishing.
Inspired, I set out to answer her question.
At little background first. Book publicity has changed drastically in the last seven years. When we started the Open Grove in January, 2001:
* In-house publicists from hundreds of publishers sent dozens of copies of books. I received 12+ books a day. I heard that Oprah received over 50 books a day. Yikes!
* Almost every author went on some form of a multi-city book tour.
* I received telephone calls, letters, and a few emails (2001) from publicists hungry to get their clients on the Open Grove.
Within two years:
* publishers began to merge into multinational conglomerates,
* the tide of books became a trickle, (Thank God)
* authors financed their own book tours,
* some savvy best selling authors began publishing their own books, and
* small book presses were growing.
* many of the major book publishers had closed their publicity departments,
* authors whispered that they spent their entire advance on a publicist - some where helpful, most were not, and
* the publishing industry lost 17%! Book publishers closed left and right.
Walt Whitman sold his book door to door. What’s an author in 2008 supposed to do to sell his or her book??
* What works?
* What doesn’t work?
* What are people doing to promote themselves?
* What was the data? Which marketing endeavors increased sales? What had no effect at all?
* Self publishing? Big New York Publisher? No advance publishing? E-book publishing?
I asked my favorite Marketing forum and came up with some good ideas, but no data. I sat through ridiculous seminars run by sharks and charlatans. (No, Janet, I didn’t kill them, I only WANTED to kill them.)
What sells books in 2008?
No one knows.
I mean, I have some ideas? But I’ve already written about them.
Unsure of what to do, I did nothing. Then I noticed a little project of Brad Feld’s (Liz, he’s the venture capitalist I was talking about). I decided to steal his idea.
I’m sending out an SOS.
Let’s collect our information and experience. We don’t have to toil alone. Together, we can create a resource for authors. With information, we wrestle our creative efforts from the mouth’s of sharks.
(100% of these proceeds will go to Wounded Warriors. )
What I’m looking for:
* Direct experience marketing a book, selling a book or even getting a book published.
* What is working for you?
* What hasn’t worked for you?
* What do you believe is the single most important factor in selling your book?
* You book can be a self-published book, an e-book, a New York publisher.
* Did your book tour work?
* How much publicity help did you get from your publisher?
* What sells your book?
I’m thinking a short (100 - 300 words) this worked, this didn’t.
In return for participating, you will receive a free copy of the book. I’m hoping to collect 100 authors to participate in this project. If you are interested, please send me an email at: email@example.com or leave a comment at On a Limb with Claudia. If you know a published author, please let them know about this project."