2 October 2011, Marketing - to Publishers book Sales
Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel.
I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way. At this moment, I'm showing you the marketing material I put together for a novel.
Today's Blog: I wrote about classical publishers and book publishing runs yesterday. I need to tell you a little about book sales. For a book that has been through a usual publishing run, there are x number of copies out there, usually about 10,000 for a new author. The publisher needs to move those books, the author needs to move those books, the book stores need to move those book. Actually, the book stores have less risk than everyone in the picture because for normal book sales, if a book doesn't sell, most of the time the book store can return the book for cash or credit. This sometimes hits an indie (independent) (self published writer) in the pocket book. Most self publishing houses will sell to a book store, but if the book store can't sell the book in about 90 days, they will return the book for cash. That cash comes from the indie's pocketbook--ouch.
So, the classical publisher has to move the publishing run and usually they work hard with the author to do just that. Both the author and the publisher have a risk from the non sales of the novel. If there are too many returns, the publisher may sell the book at discount to get rid of the copies.
Discount sales are an entirely different kettle of tea. Discount sales are usually not allowed to be returned to the publisher for cash or credit. Discount retailers and liquidators are the usual stores that use this method of sales. You can see examples at Sam's Club. These books are usually known best sellers or promotionals with strong sales potential. The publisher and the seller are taking a risk with these novels because they many times are not returnable. That's why they can be sold at a discount in the first place. If your works are found in Sam's club or other discounters, you have reached publishing nirvana.
There are other ways to sell books--I'll get to some more tomorrow.
I'll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples: http://www.ldalford.com/, and the individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel.com/, http://www.centurionnovel.com/, http://www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, http://www.thefoxshonor.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.