Friday, August 26, 2005

Friday Morning Bloody Marys, extra celery and Tobasco

Greeting, faithful patrons. We've got a big(ish) meal for you to gag down today, so let's get off and running--and sorry, we don't serve screwdrivers in an insufficiently classy place as this!

Presenting the P5 for August 26, 2005:

(1) SUFFER IN SILENCE: 61,663 6

(2) COOKIN' FOR LOVE: 79,312 6

(3) INFERTILITY SUCKS: 127,523 6

(4) ISN'T THAT BIGAMY?: 194,445 5

(5) RATED F: 199, 983 5


Right out of the gate, I should mention
the article that ran on the front page (!) of the Dallas Morning News (yeah, you have to register--for free, though) this past Saturday. Who was quoted that might be worthy of mention? Well, duh--me. Why else would I care? In this nifty article about POD (and its tales of success and tales of failure) you get snippets from all sorts, including me--and boy, do I sound nasty. I guess the truth can be painful.


Here's a fun one (for everyone but Rick Moody and the folks at Little, Brown.) Think the cover of a book is not important to its sales? Think again.


For those of you who do not read the business section of the New York Times, you should check out this
article about Warren Adler. Who is he? I wasn't sure, either. He is the guy who wrote WAR OF THE ROSES (which later was made into a major motion picture.) Turns out the guy has written 25+ books, but has come to giving some of it away via electronic format. He is still on the e-book train (as for the "way it's gonna go") but he has some interesting observations about publishing in general, including the stance that publishing is going to have to change if it wants to survive.

It is the only industry that still operates the way it did 100 years ago, and is likely the reason nobody invests in publishing stock, and why most conglomerates are divesting themselves of publishing companies, and why it rarely turns a profit--unless a Harry Potter novel comes out.


Remember our buddy, Will Clarke? The man who set the example for going from POD to Traditional Publication? The man who gives out finger puppets at his signings? The man who once started at Authorhouse and moved to a multi-book deal and a movie adaptation?

If you want to read about the dream and the journey, check out this lengthy and quite engaging article in the Dallas Observer. Supremo!


Ever read any P.J. Parrish novels? Good chance you have since she is a New York Times Bestselling author. But if you haven't already, now is your chance. And stop by her blog and check out her comments on the world of POD.


And for all you kind folks who sent me wonderful comments regarding my slam of the Xlibris spam last week, I'm afraid to say it is nowhere near as funny or clever as one that J.A. Konrath wrote. (We even make the same joke about asking for an advance.) You must read this (true) story by Mr. Konrath (who, like Ms. Parrish, is another blockbuster author with a major house) regarding an incident with POD.


This story, courtesy of Publisher's Marketplace, is all about on-demand reading--via vending machine. It's one thing to see your book in the window of a Barnes & Noble . . . but sitting behind those metal twisty things? And what happens when it gets stuck, like so many of the Twix bars I've lost over the years? Bastards.


And, as we informed you a few months ago, Authorhouse was experimenting in the UK with one of their "publishing plans" getting you shelf space in a bookstore. Well, as we guessed, the idea has surfaced in America.

Check it out, baby.

The problem is this: what on God's Green Earth is a Joseph-Beth bookseller? This isn't B&N. This isn't Borders. This isn't Waterstones. Turns out they're located in, like, five cities. Is that worth the extra $200?

As usual: no. Unless you live in those areas and your book topic is of interest to folks living in those areas, you'll be tossing your cash in the wind like you would be for advertising in the New York Times.

But the plot thickens. If you read the article about it via Publisher's Weekly, we see a slightly different view. It turns out the book is only stocked at the store nearest the author, not all the locations. Further, they only stock five copies--so if you sell all five copies, you make, what, $10.00?

Now, I am not picking on Authorhouse for this (well, I am a little) because they are clearly trying to find ways to get books into bookstores for their authors. But in this case, the wealthiest authors get placement. What they need is a crossbreed of iUniverse's Star program and this Authorhouse initiative. And, of course, it needs to be cost-free to the author. Because . . . the fiscal advantage to Authorhouse is quite obvious. A quote from the article:

If someone decides to publish with Authorhouse, the store location gets a minimal referral fee. "Every day everyone who works in a bookstore is asked, 'How can I get published?'," said [Joseph-Beth v-p of marketing Michelle Sulka]. "Now, at last, we're able to tell them there is a way to get published and promoted."


And lastly, is your POD title only selling two copies a month? Would you rather sell 15,000 in eight minutes? All you need is QVC!


Well, you smarmy drunkards, the cabs are waiting outside to deliver you back to the warm confines of your luxurious lifestyles. Enjoy, and we'll see you Monday with (I know, it can't be) more treasure.