Sunday, March 20, 2005

Who am I and why should you care?

Oh no, another blog about the publishing business.

But before you mouse over to the VIEW NEXT BLOG button, hear me out.

My first novel, WHISKEY SOUR, was published in hardcover in 2003 by Hyperion. Since that time, I've learned a heck of a lot about how this business works. And the biggest thing I've learned is this:

1. There are over 100,000 books published every year.

2. Only one out of five books makes money (two break even, two lose money).

3. If you expect to stay in this business, your book had better make money.

I have hundreds of author friends. Dozens of them are on their fifth, tenth, forty-third book, and find themselves unable to sell their latest because their numbers just aren't good---their publishers aren't making back their investment.

And investment in an author is expensive. Besides the advance paid, publishers must also pay for paper, printing, binding, cover design, editorial work, galleys, corrugation (making boxes for the books to be shipped in), shipping, and marketing/advertising/promotion. What profit is left is shared with the bookseller, and often a distributor (Ingram, Baker & Taylor). On a $25 hardcover, the publisher makes about as much as the author; about three bucks.

Many of my peers believe that their job is simply to write the books, and that the publisher must sell them.

Many of these same peers find themselves struggling to sell their next project.

I believe the opposite. If it's my name on the book, it's my job to sell it. My goal is simple; to make my publisher money, so they'll buy my next book.

So does a lowly author have the power to make this happen?


That's the purpose of this blog. To raise author awareness of what needs to be done in order to become one of those one in five books that turns a profit.

My second book, BLOODY MARY, comes out this June, along with the mass market paperback edition of WHISKEY SOUR. I'll be sharing my promotion tips, what works and what doesn't, and be happy to answer any questions along the way.

My name is Joe, and I'm an author.

Welcome to my blog.