What's A Writer To Do?
There was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal Monday. Tells the story of how one publisher, Henry Holt & Co., paid over $1.3 million in advances and marketing to make a debut novel into an instant best seller. Long story short, it didn’t work. In fact at last accounting, Holt will be lucky to recoup half of its investment. It isn’t that the book, “The Interpretation of Murder” by Jed Rubenfeld, wasn’t a good one. The reviews were pretty uniformly positive. And it wasn’t that the author didn’t put himself out there. He was sent on a pre-pub tour and met with reps of major bookstores who seemed excited about the book. So what went wrong? Timing, for one thing. While the publisher started months in advance to promote the book, come publication time another debut novel, “The Thirteenth Tale” stole its thunder. In fact, Barnes & Noble, who met with Rubenfeld early on and promised to hand sell his book, fell in love with “The Thirteenth Tale” and made it the inaugural pick for its new program, Barnes and Noble Recommends.
Why do I mention this? Let’s face it, success in this business has as much to do with luck as talent. In fact, the article ends with an interesting tidbit. In case you’re worried about the future of Henry Holt & Co., on Sept. 20 when Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave his incendiary speech to the U.N., he held up a copy of a book, “Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance.” The book shot up on Amazon’s bestseller list resulting in an additional print run of 50,000 copies. The publisher? You guessed it, Henry Holt & Co.
I you want to read the article, "The Wall Street Journal's" web site is www.wsj.com. Click "media and marketing”, then scroll down to the story, "Stakes are high in the era of Blockbuster Books".
I also came across this link on one of my loops
: It’s an item-by-item comparison of various on-line book publishing houses. Thought I’d pass it along, too. Must be some kind of associative link there somewhere!
And on a completely different note. Ever hear of “fried coke?” Evidently, it was introduced by concessionaire Abel Gonzales Jr. at the State Fair of Texas only weeks ago and has already shown up at the North Carolina State Fair and the Arizona Exposition & State Fair. I guess it’s a donut flavored with coke syrup. Then more coke syrup is drizzled on top. Didn’t coke syrup used to be used as a cold remedy? Am I the only one completely grossed out by this?