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How Three Publishing Myths Kill the Author

by Judy Collins
© 2003 All Rights Reserved

When authors think of their audience buying books they think of
bookstores. This myth sends authors taking the long, arduous
road to seeking out an agent, a publisher, hoping their book
will become a best seller. It won't. Why?

Because you are not famous, your publishing support
amounts only to a two months' book tour, billed against your
sales and your book sitting on a Barnes and Noble shelf about
the same time unless you promote it full time and sales are huge.

Another reason book stores disappoint the author is that
most people go into the store to browse. They want fiction,
some non-fiction. but they aren't sure what. If your book
is shelved among more popular authors, potential buyers
will pass it by for the well-known name.

Marketing guru, John Kremer, author of "1001 Ways to Market
Your Book" says "I'm glad I don't rely on retail "brick and
mortar" bookstore sales for my income, but it will be nice to add
that icing on the cake into my cash flow again."

Before his updated version this year, In three years, John has
sold 45,000 copies of his book. He is a marketer par excellence.
He uses non-traditional marketing strategies; his web site, his
eMagazine which offers tips, products and seminars, specialty
stores, foreign markets, libraries, and back of the room sales
from speaking engagements.

Because John is a recognized name, he gets a lot of shelf space
in the bookstore--cover side out. For your lesser-known book,
only your spine will show and after three months of initial
placement, your book will fade away unless you put on your
promotion hat to get customers to the store.

In one book coaching session, a new client thought he wanted to
sell to the bookstores. I asked him who was his particular
audience. He said business people. What kind of business
people? Do these people go to the "brick and mortar" bookstore
for a business book? Or, will they be more likely to subscribe
to Online business ezines or visit a business Web site for specific
kinds of business books?

Your book coach knows that Online promotion is the cheapest,
easiest, and most profitable way to sell books.


*Seventy percent of US adults haven't been in a bookstore for
the last 5 years.
*Bookstores sell only 45% of all books sold.
*Bookstores return non-sold books to the author-think of the
Starbucks people dripping their coffee and scone on your book.
*Bookstores will take 90 days, even a year or more to pay you
for your total book sales.
*Bookstores only order two or three copies at a time because of
limited shelf space.
*Bookstores buy only from a distributor or wholesaler.

Why the big push to get a wholesale or distributor and get into
the bookstore?

These people represent so many other authors don't you wonder
how much attention your book will receive? They exact healthy
fees, around 55%. That leaves a small profit for the author, and
remember, bookstores, distributors and wholesalers don't
promote your book!

After her distributor went belly up and she lost $160,000, one
author said she would rather have more control over her
priceless products. She distributes them all herself now through
various venues that suit her personality.

Authors spend a lot of time and money chasing the improbable,
when the "golden egg" of self-publishing and self-promotion is
right in front of them. In my opinion, I'd sell my books
everywhere except the brick and mortar bookstore!

Judy Cullins: 20-year author, publisher, book coach
Helps entrepreneurs manifest their book and web dreams
eBk: _Ten Non-techie Ways to Market Your Book Online_
Send an email to
FREE The Book Coach Says... includes 2 free eReports/

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