What Does the Future Hold for Small-Batch Publishing?
November 2, 2017 at 8:55 am

One of the great backlashes in our era of conglomerates is the steady growth of small-batch businesses. These are very small businesses that cater mostly to customers willing to spend more for a seemingly better and more controlled product offering. There are many happy consumers who will buy a four-pack of local brew for $16,…

Alas, Why? - The Problem With Big Publishing Rejection Letters
May 4, 2017 at 9:06 am

One would think well-educated, literate people, such as those who are attracted to and working in book publishing, would be able to write a rejection letter without using the dreaded “alas” word. But it’s always there, in letters written by veterans and rookies alike. I’d like to suggest we break the pattern and either use…

How Book Publishers Can Navigate the Death Squeeze
March 1, 2017 at 5:34 pm

The 2016 publishing sales data shared by Author Earnings at Digital Book World reminded me of all the times I have been the sad-sack tasked with managing the “death squeeze.” I went through it in the consumer photo business, the paper atlas business, and then the CD-ROM mapping software business. Each of these industries relied…

Another Way Digital Could Complement Print Books: Print-to-Digital Highlights
January 25, 2017 at 3:49 pm

As I’ve said before, the publishing industry needs to get beyond the current “print or digital” mindset and instead explore ways for one to complement the other. Plenty of industry stats show that most readers are comfortable with either format and many prefer the convenience of switching between the two (e.g., reading the news digital…

Novel Effect Hopes to Inspire New Generation of Readers With Interactive Audio
September 15, 2016 at 4:02 pm

Novel Effect hopes to inspire a love of reading among children by adding audio and music to storybooks. The sounds are triggered as parents read the story out loud to their children. “Imagine reading ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ and when you read ‘Let the wild rumpus start!’ your family is instantly hit with an…

How Are You Connecting With Your Customers?
September 6, 2016 at 12:02 pm

The people who actually buy and read books are still mostly nameless and faceless individuals from a publisher’s point of view. This, despite the fact that there are plenty of opportunities for publishers to establish a direct relationship with consumers. I’m not necessarily talking about selling direct; I’m referring to the opportunity to build a…

How to Negotiate Book Sales with Deceitful Buyers
September 2, 2016 at 8:00 am

“Buyers are liars,” is a term some salespeople use to describe their customers. They believe prospective buyers distort the truth to put themselves in a better bargaining position. Regrettably, in some cases they are correct, so be on guard when negotiating the sale of your books to some corporate purchasers. According to studies among business…

How to Sell Books in the Multi-Billion Dollar Gift Shop Market
August 26, 2016 at 8:00 am

The National Park Service turned 100 on August 25, 2016. Given this historic milestone, it seems appropriate to talk about how publishers can sell books through gift shops at parks and historic sites. Gift shops offer a significant opportunity to publishers, particularly those that create educational content about local history. Millions of consumers visit national…

Mastering Change in Book Publishing
August 3, 2016 at 2:34 pm

Change has always been a constant in the publishing business, and of course change is a natural state in all of our lives. What’s different today is that change is occurring faster than it ever has before. Carolyn Pittis, director of Welman Digital, pointed out at the Yale Publishing Course on Monday, that the Agricultural…

Authors Need Publishers Less than Ever
August 1, 2016 at 4:19 pm

Let me preface this by saying I run a literary fiction micro-publisher operating much in the mold of how full-service traditional publishing has for years, although because my overheads are so low, I pay my authors 50% of print and 70% of ebook royalties, something I realize large publishers cannot do. As self-publishing continues evolving,…