No More Boomerang Books: Four Tips for Reducing Returns
February 1, 2013

Some publishers experience return rates of 30 percent or more. There are four important things you can do that can help to reduce or eliminate returns.

  1. Take responsibility. Retailers and distributors do not sell books. They display them or fill the pipeline after you have sold them. Recognize that it is up to you to spread the word and get buyers into the stores (if you choose retail distribution) to purchase your books. Then, if your book is good it should remain sold.

Impatient Optimists: Possibly the One Thing Almost All Americans Agree On: Libraries (in the Digital Age)
February 1, 2013

But my jaw dropped when I read the findings of a new report, "Libraries in the Digital Age" from the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life project.

Pew found that 91 percent of Americans (16 or older) say that public libraries are important to their communities, and 76 percent say libraries are important to them and their families.

I can't think of another idea, place, or issue that 91 percent of Americans support. I also think this puts to rest once and for all …

Reddit Book Exchange Now Open
February 1, 2013

Looking for a new book this year? Join the annual Reddit Book Exchange and a literary stranger will share a great book with you.

So far, 4,700 people have already signed up for the massive book exchange–sign up before the February 18th deadline. You will be matched with another online reader who knows about your literary tastes and get a new book in March.

BookScout: Speaking with SVP of Digital Marketplace Development Amanda Close about Random House's new discoverability app
January 30, 2013

Last week, following a soft-launch the week prior, Random House marched out BookScout, a Facebook app designed to link readers with books they'll like but might not have discovered on their own.

We asked Amanda Close, Senior Vice President, Digital Marketplace Development at Random House, to take us through the steps of getting an app like BookScout into the world, and how it plans to hone it going forward.

Teen fiction and the shadow of cancer
January 26, 2013

One of the stranger recent cultural shifts is that teenage fiction has become a branch of oncology. Cancer is rampant. You're barely a chapter in before a tumour erupts or a lymphatic system turns nasty. Young heroes and heroines are terminal from page one, or a friend is, or a parent. The shadow of premature death has fallen upon the genre: one half-expects Waterstones to be staffed by Macmillan nurses.

It is axiomatic (though wrong) that teenagers will read only books that reflect teenage experience.

Macmillan will soon sell its ebooks to libraries for the first time
January 25, 2013

Macmillan will start selling ebooks to libraries in the next few months. In a statement, the company detailed a pilot program that would distribute 1,200 backlisted titles from the Minotaur crime fiction imprint, the first time it's offered a library program. Like most other big publishers, though, the ebooks will come with restrictions: only one user at a time can check them out, and each copy will only last for 52 checkouts or two years, whichever comes first. As tight as that leash seems…

Book Tours: Hell or Helpful? Author's Snark Ignites Debate
January 24, 2013

As First World Problems go, the awfulness of the author’s book tour is hardly a novel one.  Yet a recent column in Salon by “Go The F*** To Sleep” writer Adam Mansbach on the horror that is the under-attended bookstore appearance provoked a notably strong response, both among those who sympathized with his plight, or at least found his description of it worth a chuckle, and among those who were less than amused.

To the latter, many of whom work in the book industry, Mansbach displayed a lack of graciousness…

Five New Year's Resolutions for Book Marketers
January 15, 2013

While you are planning your New Year’s Resolutions why not consider some that can help you sell more books? Here are a few that you might consider.

1) I will regularly plan my work before taking action, and then assess the results of my efforts. Book marketing can be as simple as PIE if you Prepare before Implementing your plan. Then Evaluate your progress and make necessary changes. If you missed my December webinar about planning, the recording of How to Create a Functional Marketing Plan for 2013 is at

A Digital Public Library Without Paper Books
January 15, 2013

The next library in San Antonio, Texas, may not have any paper books for its patrons.

Nelson Wolff, a judge in Bexar County, Texas, where San Antonio is located, and Sergio Rodriguez, commissioner for the county's first precinct, have proposed a plan to create a library called BiblioTech that offers electronic media exclusively.

Though there are bookless academic libraries, at the University of Texas at San Antonio for example, Wolff said in a phone interview that he believes that BiblioTech will be first public library without paper books.