The Misery of Being Published....

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polymath
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Re: The Misery of Being Published....

Post by polymath » December 2nd, 2010, 6:51 pm

Then your publisher and agent are a little more in agreement than the typical, contemporary U.S. domestic publishing experience. Count your blessings, put a notch on your bedpost--the current title is living its own life now--and move on.
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Mira
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Re: The Misery of Being Published....

Post by Mira » December 2nd, 2010, 10:50 pm

selfridge -

I'm so sorry that happened to you! It sounds really frustrating. And yes, I think it's very common. U.S. publishers do not support unknown authors with marketing, and - from what I understand - they tend to drop books that don't sell well at first very quickly.

I do have some words of comfort, though. Frankly, I wouldn't worry about the paperback. For longevity - e-book is the way to go, and your royalties on that are higher anyway.

The bottom line is, you have a book in print, it's gotten great reviews and sold well in the U.K. - you should be extremely proud of yourself. Congratulations! I hope you don't take what happened in the U.S. to heart - that type of thing really does happen all the time. It's a very bad business model, but that's on them, and not on you. For you, you have a great book out, and that's what's important.

For non-fiction marketing, I might start a blog, and then start participating in some sites that specifically target your audience. You might check out Nathan's terrific post from last week about how to build a following.

I would definitely write the second book (!) and reconsider if you even want to involve U.S. publishers next time around. You can make alot more money off e-publishing if you don't have publishers involved, and if you have a following from your first book, they'll be a built in readership for your second book.

Whatever you decide, best of luck to you! And I know this is disappointing, but it's just a bend in the road. Again - good luck!

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Re: The Misery of Being Published....

Post by Sommer Leigh » December 3rd, 2010, 8:45 am

I have zero experience with being published so my advice is pretty flimsy at best, but I would like to say to everyone else that just because this person has been published doesn't mean they are authomatically living the good life and don't need the support of peers to talk to, worry with, and seek advice from. Especially for a debut author, all the knowledge and confidence doesn't suddenly manifest upon publication. I think you can be published and happy but still be worried and anxious and sad about the exprience too.

I think it is awesome you published and found an audience in the UK. I don't envy the situation you're in because there probably aren't a lot of hard and fast answers to turn to. I hope you keep writing and if you want to find an audience in the US, maybe a good idea might be to lay some ground work here before your next book. Seek out the target group in the US and find a place among them, whether through social networking or some other clever idea. That way you've got an established foundation of possible readers and maybe some venues to market yourself through. Whatever your subject matter is, be genuine and seek out like-minded others. From what I've read in the US, a lot of debut author marketing is author driven.

Good luck, please keep us updated on how your experience goes from here!
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Re: The Misery of Being Published....

Post by Margo » December 3rd, 2010, 11:51 am

selfridge wrote:
Margo wrote:Perhaps if you do what you can with self-promotion, and the remaining copies sell relatively quickly, and the e-sales are strong, they will reconsider. That's the course I'd follow, anyway.
Thanks, I think that makes sense. Good advice! I guess even if they don't ever bring out a paperback, the ebook will be available indefinitely.
As much as I disagree with some of the positions he is taking on the industry and what he's telling unpublished authors, I would recommend J.A. Konrath's web site/blog to you. With a 78% hardcover sell-through, I have to think you hit your market (niche or not) pretty solidly. Konrath is a master of self-promotion and had a long list of promotional techniques. Some of them might not work for your situation or might not be something you're comfortable doing, but there are probably at least four or five that you could make good use of. If you can move those last 1000 copies and show some good e-sales, I do not believe all is lost for the paperback possibility.

I wish you excellent luck.
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selfridge
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Re: The Misery of Being Published....

Post by selfridge » December 4th, 2010, 12:16 pm

Thanks so much Margo and Sommer!

You are right in saying that while it's great to get published it doesn't mean that everything runs smoothly from then on or that you no longer have concerns and problems.

Thank goodness my UK publisher has been more supportive than the US one. It is surely the UK publisher's enthusiasm which helped make sure my book got the attention in the media etc which helped make sure it sold well.

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polymath
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Re: The Misery of Being Published....

Post by polymath » December 4th, 2010, 1:10 pm

I'm sensing an undertone of geocentric bias somewhere in the mix. I recently viewed a documentary with an international subject. The geocentric bias of the studio's domestic culture stands out loud. The domestic country's geocentric viewpoint favorably comments on the domestic country's influence while marginalizing or outright deprecating other countrys' influences. I was disappointed and at times offended. The broader an intended audience is the broader a cultural viewpoint ought best be.
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Re: The Misery of Being Published....

Post by Fenris » December 4th, 2010, 1:24 pm

polymath wrote:The broader an intended audience is the broader a cultural viewpoint ought best be.
Exactly. That's part of what I meant by a localization problem. Perhaps the subject matter did not impact those in America as greatly as those in the United Kingdom, or perhaps it was the way it was portrayed. Again (and I may have missed the mention somewhere), it's rather hard to pinpoint the problem if we don't know the subject matter. If it were a memoir, maybe the turn-off for America was the cultural differences. If it was historical, perhaps the subject did not impact those in the US as much as the UK.

Still, selfridge, I wouldn't worry too much about it unless you decide you REALLY want an American market. Besides, it seems your book's had a great reception in the UK. One step at a time, right?
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Re: The Misery of Being Published....

Post by Margo » December 4th, 2010, 2:46 pm

Fenris wrote:That's part of what I meant by a localization problem. Perhaps the subject matter did not impact those in America as greatly as those in the United Kingdom, or perhaps it was the way it was portrayed.
It is a possibility. We in the US are an odd lot sometimes. Having lived in the UK I can say we don't think alike on nearly as many subjects as I thought we would. I tend to have more of a UK mind set in most things - probably why I married a Brit - which made moving back to the US even harder. I've had fellow Americans fly into quite the unbecoming rage at me simply talking about relatively tame subjects like GM seeds, let alone hot button issues like socialized medicine or the war in Iraq.

Now I'm reeeeeeally curious what the book topic is.
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Re: The Misery of Being Published....

Post by Pete » December 4th, 2010, 7:19 pm

Publishing is an industry that does not suffer from an abundance of logic or good business sense. A close friend's book has sold over 20K+ copies (and is still selling strong) and has won major industry awards, yet Random House dropped him and won't publish the next book in the series citing low sales (despite the book being on the 3rd printing). From a business perspective, if you've sold 20K+ of a $14 product that costs $2 to manufacture and you haven't made any money, you are doing something seriously wrong.
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Mira
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Re: The Misery of Being Published....

Post by Mira » December 6th, 2010, 5:16 pm

Pete wrote:Publishing is an industry that does not suffer from an abundance of logic or good business sense. A close friend's book has sold over 20K+ copies (and is still selling strong) and has won major industry awards, yet Random House dropped him and won't publish the next book in the series citing low sales (despite the book being on the 3rd printing). From a business perspective, if you've sold 20K+ of a $14 product that costs $2 to manufacture and you haven't made any money, you are doing something seriously wrong.
Wow.

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Re: The Misery of Being Published....

Post by RachelHowzell » December 16th, 2010, 1:54 pm

Ah, the misery of being published. I'm a little late to the party but I'd still like to comment.

I, too, was published by a big house but only sold ~10,000. Not enough books sold. But that wasn't the miserable part. The miserable part is when people keep asking you 'When are you gonna publish again? Are you gonna publish again? Why aren't you published again?"

It's like having a baby, and before the baby can even open its eyes, folks are asking you, "Are you gonna have another baby?"

Never enough, I tells ya.

Rachel

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Author of The View from Here - available for 99 cents at Amazon.

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