Could You Handle an Overnight Best-seller? Epicenter Press’ Kent Sturgis talks about how his small press tackled the instant, overwhelming demand for the only Sarah Palin biography.
Extra: What was the biggest thing that helped you fulfill your spike in orders?
Sturgis: Working with our distributor. They had influence with Lightning Source. They gave us an entire production line to print the books. And Lightning Source is pretty busy right now. They used that connection within the Ingram companies. The IPS sales staff went to work right away and aggressively. They had most of the accounts rounded up over the weekend. I’m pretty happy with the pricing. Everybody has been very cognizant from the very beginning … to do anything we can do to minimize returns. I just feel like I’ve been in very good hands. If we had been an independent without this adequate distribution network, boy, there’s no way in the world we could have responded. I would still be feeling my way through.
Extra: What were the advantages of partnering with Tyndale?
Sturgis: … Tyndale has the financial wherewithal to print 250,000 books and hit the market hard. We could not do that. Our arrangement with Tyndale also reduces our … risk.
Extra: What advice would you give to other publishers who may see unexpected demand for a title?
Sturgis: … I think we’ve been a little bit slow to respond to the new means of Internet marketing, such as blogs. … If you’re going to anticipate something overnight like this, it would behoove publishers to have a knowledge of these things in case they need to be used. They should also look at their publishing agreements. What if I sell 200,000 copies of a title? What are the various sub rights? Is this contract going to work? Ours is working quite well, but I think I will tweak it a bit in the future.