Friday, July 29, 2005

Friday Morning Muffins (High Fiber)

Welcome (once again) to the POD-dy Mouth Cafe, where we typically don't sneeze in biscuit batter. Typically.

Here is a tasty little treat that I stumbled upon over at
Agent007's blog: It is the NY Times Book Review:Book Cover review. How very cool. Here you will find how graphic artists/designers are doing it right--and how often they are doing it wrong ("move the font this way", "should have muted the color", etc.) And for someone who has to look at some of the worst book covers known to mankind, it is a breath of fresh air.

If you are going to do your own cover, you can learn some things here. It's like a free tutorial on imaging, kerning, text placement and the works.


In case any of you missed this excellent article in yesterday's Publisher's Lunch, you should check it out. The article is called "Slush Pile Superstars" which should be a big tip-off as to where they are going. It discusses all sorts of goodies: self-publishing, the Macmillan New Writers program among others, and small/independent presses--and most notably how the current system with mainstream publishers isn't working--for them or anyone else.

The independents are rising.

More amazing stats from the "management" over at PublishAmerica.

A faithful reader here at the cafe sent to me a copy of PublishAmerica's latest [promotional e-mail to their authors] regarding hype of the company. Here is my favorite part:

"We are also happy to announce that PublishAmerica has recently intensified its cooperation with and book printer Lightning Source. Together with Amazon's headquarters in Seattle where, at their invitation, we visited earlier this summer, we are investing in developing new marketing tools for our titles. Together we have also streamlined supply procedures, and for a good reason: readers are buying a PublishAmerica book at Amazon every twenty minutes, every hour of the day, day and night, every day of the week!"

Uhhh . . . let me do some math here:

A book sells every 20 minutes, that's three per hour.

3 * 24 (hours per day) * 352 (days per year) = 25,344. Now divide that by the ever-increasing number of PublishAmerica authors (let's say today's number is 13,000.) That means each PublishAmerica author (on average) will sell 1.95 units on Amazon in any given year. And considering that Amazon and BN are probably the only places you can find these titles, that it's not only depressing, it's embarrassing.

Also of note over at PA, is how well (*snicker*) the $25 PublishAmerica Pamphlet is performing. My friend with access to a Bookscan subscription tells me they are up to three copies sold!


Better still is the fact that ATLANTA NIGHTS by Travis Tea (a book written by more than a dozen authors, and which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever (intentionally--to make a point) yet was still accepted for publication by PublishAmerica*) is out selling the Meiners title exponentially.

*The book was accepted by "traditional publisher" PublishAmerica, then later rejected when someone realized what was going on (supposedly one chapter is just random words strung together.) It was later published through Lulu and has been on their Top 100 Bestsellers list since the book was released. It will give you a true idea of how PublishAmerica culls. (*snicker again*)

Well, that's it for this week, folks. It's summer after all.

You should really go out and get some sun.