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.


Bob Farley said...

Nice start, Joe. Something weird going on with the side column in my browser (Firefox 1.0) and I'm too lazy to check it in IE, but it'll probably work out.

I, too, am trying to learn to make a prfit from writing. I should steer clear of commenting so much, shouldn't I?

Unfortunately, this is not just a social call. I have to report you to the semicolon abuse agency for forcing a semicolon to do the job of a colon. Since this is your first post, I'll let you off with a comment. :-)


misstakenlady said...

This is the first time I have ever blogged and I am not sure if I am doing this right.

I purchased your book last night and I'm over half way through with it. I have followed you since I read your article in Writer's Digest. My interest is watching an author start from the beginning and become a master at the craft.

I have been writing for a few years and I enjoy reading the first novels of authors to see what their books offer. It gives me a base to check out when I question my own work.

I know that I will be purchasing more of your works. It takes persisitance and hard work to get to the point that you are at. I commend you for the hours you spend staring at the monitor.

I love your site and the writing tips you share. I guess I should wipe the brown off of my nose now and get ready for work.

Thanks for the site and I hope to understand this "blogging" business soon. Good luck in your endeavors and I will be ummm...watching you.

I will let you know when I become published also, it's one of my goals.

your friend

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the blogsphere, Joe.


Martha O'Connor said...

Hi, Joe~So you've become one of us after all. Welcome, welcome my press-shus.... E-mail me if you need any Blogger help. It becomes addictive! I'll blogroll you right now. Consider adding a blogroll to your site That way, users can add you to THEIR blogroll at the click of a button. Have fun!

Unknown said...

Hi Joe. I've commented on your more recent blog posts but have decided that I want to go beck to where you started with it so I can see how you arrived where you are today.

Warmest Regards

MoJo x

bloggooding said...

"The first draft of everything is shit." – Ernest Hemingway

This blog sounds promising. I should probably follow along and see if you can make something of yourself.

Your enthusiasm sounds genuine at the very least.