Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Another Midlist Discussion

A friend from across the pond sent me a link to a very interesting (and acute) article.

Check it out!

This is yet another story of how POD is "crossing over"--and how it is picking up all the good titles that are being overlooked by the heavy hitters. Note that there was no mention of traditional publishers lining up to grab this book (or further rights) yet. But the publisher (POD) that gave this book a chance did so, I would imagine, because not only was the writing/story quality, but the author had a fan base. And perhaps this is where POD should shine first and foremost: with the big houses.

So what if an author is selling only 2500 copies? With POD, the risk is slight--and if more traditional publishers would embrace the technology, they would increase their backlist as well as the odds of a breakout. And they should remember that loyal fans are willing to pay the extra $4 or so dollars for a POD title (or otherwise: Isn't Stephen King's DARK TOWER (7) $35.00? John Grisham's THE BROKER $28.00?)

Before you go berserk: I know, they won't land in stores, even with Random pushing them. But, again, who cares? Let's say Random sells the aforementioned 2,500 copies through Amazon, and BAM, or even through (perish the thought!) an online book store offered by the publisher. Some quick math and I come up with $50,000 in gross receipts. Assign the book to a junior copyeditor and you have almost certain profit.

Anyway . . .

The great tale here is that Patricia Ferguson's book went on to land on the Orange Prize list. Let's hope she gets pelted with calls from traditional publishers.

And let's hope she gets 500,000 Sterling.