Quick publishing hors d'oeuvres

Sunday, December 07, 2008 3 Comments A+ a-

HQN readers, don't forget to check the post down below to link for some specials the company is having throughout this month and especially up to December 12th. (I really hope they have that end of the year daily free ebook offering like last year. I discovered a fantabulous book or two from the different lines)

Just in case you missed the NY Small Press Book Fair, an author tells about her experiences on this AW thread.

Bob Miller of HarperStudio fame talks about what's really killing the book publishing industry in this link from Kassia's awesome Booksquare site.

Miller says:

"...the problems in the business are actually not at the highest and lowest ends of the risk spectrum; the biggest books are regularly the most profitable, and the smallest ones have significant upside. The problem is with everything in between: the books which publishers spend between a hundred thousand and a million dollars to acquire, followed by hundreds of thousands of dollars in marketing and distribution. This is the dangerous middle, the place where substantial bets are made on books with lots of potential but no guarantees."

Hmm, interesting. Strangely enough that kinda sounds like the blockbuster model that big publishers are leaning toward these days but I wasn't sure if it's the same deal. This quote by Miller confirmed it: "And, unfortunately, most of what trade publishers currently publish is in that middle range." Bummer. Check out the whole article at the New Yorker website here. Good reading.


3 comments

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Zoe Winters
AUTHOR
5:27 PM delete

Good words from Miller.

Agreed. He's got a reputation for taking the right gambles. Too bad most the folks in publishing aren't as good at it.

Bransford commented the other day that Miller is working to do something about the bookstore returns system. That I didn't know. And I hope he succeeds.

Assuming the Big bookstores even make it. It's not looking good for either of them, and especially not Borders. Of course Borders refused to put up an online store (don't know if they ever got around to it) so now they're suffering the fall out of being that stupid.

NO, this internet thing will NEVER take off.

And, here we are.

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Rae Lori
AUTHOR
1:37 AM delete

Interesting! I hadn't heard that he would be working on the returns system either. I wish him well at that and it'd be interesting to see the impact of it all.

As for Borders, yeah they FINALLY put up an online bookstore a year or so ago complete with some launches of special videos of big name authors but I'm afraid it was a case of too lil too late for them. Barnes and Noble already had videos of their own plus an online bookclub forum.

I keep hearing the shakiness of Borders from many places and, yeah, not many think it'll last too long. Especially with talk of "it'll only get worse from here" circulating everywhere. Eek.

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Zoe Winters
AUTHOR
2:24 PM delete

Borders will tank. It's just a matter of when. It's an ugly mess and it kind of makes me cringe when I see all the hopeful starry-eyed writers who think if they "just write a better query letter" that it'll be okay.

We're way past that now. There are big problems that need fixed. Otherwise, joining up with NY right now is like getting on the titanic.

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