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Wednesday, October 22, 2003

The missing marketing blitz 

Julie Hecht's first novel, THE UNPROFESSIONALS, was released on September 3. Unfortunately her publisher forgot to get any copies to Barnes & Noble. Now she's pissed, and Sara Nelson sheds more light on the story. There are many nuggets here but in the end, there's a bottom line:

"[...]the ugly reality of the business today—downsizing publishing conglomerate or no—is that you have to sell to be a star."

Whether it's the right way or not, whether it means that good books will get lost in the shuffle--you bet this is the reality of publishing. I'm already on record as optimistic and--yes, I dare say it--naive about the business but it's only because I truly believe that good books will make it out there. But there are too many horror stories of publisher sabotage, disinterest and pecking order that it lessens my optimism deeply. However, let it be said that a writer cannot expect the same kind of marketing plan if he or she writes a very carefully defined genre book as opposed to something with depth or a broader appeal. And they shouldn't expect promotional opportunities if the book won't sell beyond a certain narrow base. There are no easy answers, even if the business has some very deep chasms.

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