Why are Publishers Happy About Missing Out on the Digital Revolution?
May 9, 2018 at 2:08 pm

The chart you see above is from Gallup and Pew measuring the percentage of adults in the U.S. who have not read a single book in the year measured. It was 8% in 1978 and has been hovering at 23-27% in recent years. This is not a trend one associates with a growth industry. Meanwhile,…

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 to Kill a New York Times Bestseller
April 24, 2017 at 11:58 am

Hundreds of bestsellers are unnoticed by shoppers on retail websites, which costs publishers a lot of book sales. There’s an easy fix.

Lessons for Publishers from the Loss of Family Christian Stores
March 16, 2017 at 12:49 pm

Last month brought sad news that another national bookstore chain went out of business. This time, Family Christian Stores, the largest U.S. retailer of Christian books and merchandise, closed all of its locations. Executives throughout the industry, both mainstream and religious, hated to see another big brick-and-mortar chain go under. The sting of Borders closing…

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…

3 Steps to Selling Large Book Deals to Corporate Buyers
December 22, 2016 at 2:17 pm

Selling books to corporate buyers offers independent publishers an enormous – and somewhat untapped -- opportunity for increased book sales. But many book publishers fail to approach this segment because they are unfamiliar with the steps involved in the sales process. Once you understand how the system works, making a successful transition to large, non-returnable…

The Future of Bookstores May Rest on “Guerilla Retailing”
December 5, 2016 at 3:15 pm

When you look into the rearview mirror of book retailing what do you see? A path littered with failed national chains, including Borders, Hastings, and B. Dalton, along with the rising dominance of Amazon. When you look into the future, what do you see? A path where Barnes & Noble believes smaller concept stores with…

How to Pitch a Book From the Corporate Buyer’s Perspective
December 2, 2016 at 2:36 pm

Making a large-quantity book sale (5,000 copies or more) to corporate buyers typically entails a formal presentation describing how your content can help the company in some way. You can improve your chances of making the sale with an analogy to the game of baseball. In any one game there may be several different pitchers…