Monday, January 12, 2009

But book promotion can help.

I was just reading a very interesting and informative post written by Noel Griese on the Southern Review of Books blog. Griese points out that, according to the law of averages, authors who use a subsidy publisher will not make money on their books, although other benefits (credibility, speaking engagements, building brand, and so forth) may well accrue, rendering the book publishing effort worwhile. But, on the issue of book sales: Griese points out that many important bookstores shy away from books published by subsidy presses because of their perceived inferior quality. That reputation, in some cases, is merited. But for books that are the exceptions, book promotion can help level the playing field between mainstream books and those published through subsidy publishers.

Most media decisionmakers are democratic in that they care more about an author's expertise than a book's imprint. What difference does the imprint iUniverse, AuthorHouse, or Xlibris make when the author is an expert on a topic that's in the news? Fortunately, book publicists can get book publicity opportunities for all authors when the topic and the pitch is on target and timely. Book promotion then can lead to book sales, and book sales can lead to bookstore buyers' changing their minds about whether or not to stock a book.

Another interesting point that Griese raises is that the world of subsidary publishing has just consolidated even more. Author Solutions, which already owned iUniverse and AuthorHouse, has added Xlibris to its holdings. That means that, if you're an author who's using print-on-demand publishing via a subsidary press, then chances are, you're working with Author Solutions.

Good for Author Solutions...and good for authors who understand that book promotion is a key element of a book's succes, regardless of the publishing venue or process.