The moral of the story? Knowing what the public will respond to is still shrouded in mystery. If we could reduce it to a simple algorithm, we would. Then we could only publish the bestsellers. But, alas, this is not possible.
Archive for Publishing
Recently, Don and his team came up with a brilliant viral marketing strategy, designed to boost pre-sales of the book. The idea centers around a prank in which you pretend to be Don’s co-author.
In the spring of 1987, I received a book proposal from a man who was predicting that the Rapture would happen before November (the 40-year anniversary of the founding of Israel). He said, “Since I will be gone once this happens, I wish to assign all my royalties to my brother-in-law who is not a Christian.” … If you are trying to get a publisher (or an agent) to take your proposal seriously, there are at least ten things you should never say: God told me to write this book.
In the article, she cited our conversation: Michael Hyatt, chief executive of Thomas Nelson, one of the country’s largest religious publishers, said the category did not have a top-selling book like ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ by Rick Warren or the ‘Left Behind’ series last year. … While there’s a greater interest than ever-before, the absolute numbers are astonishingly small—just 0.47 percent (compare total U.S. book sales in 2008 of $24.3 billion to electronic book sales for the same period of $113 million.)
I received an email yesterday from a young lady who wanted to write a book. She complained that neither publishers nor agents would give her a chance. According to her, their main objection was that she didn’t have a platform. “How can I get a platform,” she wrote, “if no one will publish me?”
Microsoft recently released a jaw-dropping video based on some of the their current research projects. These technologies will dramatically change your world and mine. The video is less than two minutes long and will give you a clear vision for what awaits us within the next ten years.
This week, we thought we would try delivering one of our daily devotional books via email—something we are calling an e-devotional. The idea is to send those who subscribe a daily, bite-sized portion, so they can sample the content and this method of accessing it for 30 days. In return, at the end of the period, we are asking them to fill out a brief, anonymous survey.
A few weeks ago, Publishers Weekly published their list of bestsellers for 2008. They included all books that sold more than 100,000 copies. There were 155 fiction titles that made the cut and 119 non-fiction titles. I read through the lists, highlighting the ones that could be considered “Christian,” since I run a Christian publishing company.
Today I announced a few changes in our leadership structure that I believe will further leverage my strengths and make us more nimble and competitive in a difficult economy.
I’ve seen plenty of big-name authors fall flat on their face. And I have eaten my share of unrecouped royalty advances from these under-performing titles. Media exposure does not always result in a bestselling book. Too often I have seen publishers rely on the platform and not pay enough attention to the quality of the product. This is a recipe for disaster.
Let’s start with the obvious. The attendance at the show was abysmal. There’s no way to spin this or ignore it. We only got a fraction of the audience we were anticipating. According to ECPA (as quoted in Publishers Weekly), only about 1,500 consumers showed up. Frankly, we were hoping for 15,000 to 20,000.