Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Shakespeare's "To be or not to be" had everything to do with marketing and distributing!

I've just had a eureka-moment! You can write the best book in the world, but if you don't put some blood, sweat and tears behind it, it will sit quietly in the dark recesses of someone's storage area; all the while you're paying $125.00 a month to keep it there, nice and snuggly and dusty.

Ah, marketing and distribution! I read this truism somewhere: You've written a book. You think your work is done! HA! Now you have to market and distribute the book. Good luck! Your work has just begun.

As a self-published author, you're on your own, kiddo! No one there to take your hand, lead you in the right direction, warn you of the pitfalls and pratfalls. Nope, just you and your little fingers on the keyboard, searching for distributors to answer your queries: "Oh! Absolutely! Mail the copy of your book to me at once. We have been looking for a book of your caliber. You should make millions from this..."

But alas, all you find are companies that say: "How many books have you written?"
"Ahh, just this one, but I have another in the making."
"What are your marketing strategies?"
"Ahh, well, ah, I've hired a publicist, but they're so expensive I could only get them for six weeks."
"Hmmm. Well, we really only take on TRIED AND TRUE authors, so maybe you need to find another company."
"Well, can you recommend any?"
"No. Good day."

So, you slam down the phone, blow your nose, wipe your eyes then look for the next phone number. You find a couple, but when you hear their cost to "distribute" your book, you realize it could cost you more money then the publicist, and twice the cost of your printing.

Do these distributors have it in with the Big-4 printing companies? It's scary how they seem to all hang together; Hey, let's not let the little guy in. If he thinks he can do it without us, then let him try. We'll railroad him at every turn.

Then you find a list of distributors who say they'll take on a one-book publisher. But, hey, wait a minute. They require the deed to your house and cars before signing you on.

Okay, if any nice-guy distributors are out there reading this, HELP! I need you. Give a kid a break. When I'm wealthy and at the top of the New York Times Best Sellers List I'll tell the world how you gave me my first real break in the distribution world.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

THE STORY OF DAVID (the self-publisher) AND GOLIATH, (the giant publishers)

11/17/07: Okay, I admit it. I probably should have waited to find an agent, then a publisher, then my life would have been so much easier. But, I'm too old for that. I can't wait for two years for the agent to find the right publisher, then the publisher to make me wait two years, and then decide, "Who is this person?" and dump the manuscript. I don't even buy green bananas anymore.

But I did it on my own. I put out a magnificent book that I'm proud of, looks amazing and reads the same. From the reviews I've received, I feel like Oprah should be pounding on my door any minute. "Please, my friend, let me put this out to my Book Club. You're wonderful, incredible...."yada, yada, yada.

But, without a publisher, you have no distributor. Without a distributor, can't get into the book stores. There may be people in down-and-out Arkansas that would love my book, but would never hear about it. So, what do I do. I can't afford to go on a cross-country trek, stopping at all the independent book stores along the way. I'm in my middle-earlies and too tired to make that trip. I can't even afford to pay my two publicists, but I'm doing it. Giving up food and shelter would probably be better, but for now I'll just be an optimist and see what happens.

Tomorrow will probably be a better day, so I'll sign off and hopefully a distributor will be at my door with the newspaper. So, if anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them. Leave me a comment below this posting.