When you’re in traditional trade publishing, as I am, you quickly learn that there are a lot of people working on any given book. Not just the editor, the publicist, and the marketing manager, but sales reps, digital sales staff, warehouse staff, and more. Publishing with a larger press involves becoming part of a very large publishing effort.
When you’re sitting in the place of the author, that is both exciting and terrifying. There are, on average, many people between you and the ultimate retail buyer, using the normal model. Having social media in place and attending conventions allows writers to connect directly, but in the normal publishing workflow, things go like this:
You write a book. It’s awesome. Then you figure out how to sell that book to an agent — ‘sell’ here in terms of ‘convincing them it’s a project to get excited about.’ Then the agent sells it to an editor. The editor has to sell it to their Publisher and/or the editorial team. Then the team has to sell it to the sales, marketing, and publicity staff. Then the sales staff goes out into the field, to libraries, and so on, and sells the book to wholesalers and retailers. Then the retailers have to sell the book to readers.
It’s a big chain, and in order to give the book the best chance to succeed, each person along the way has to be a bookseller — they have to learn how to [Read more…]