Cinnabar Bridge

December 25, 2008

The reluctant marketer

My president’s letter for the BAIPA News [January 2009]

You know you have to do it. You know books won’t sell without it. But what if you are a reluctant marketer?

What if you hate selling? Promoting yourself? What if you are shy? Or can’t imagine doing any of John Kremer’s “1001 Ways to Market Your Books.”

Egads, what do you do then?

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July 3, 2007

TOC conference – afterthoughts

I went to the TOC (Tools of Change) conference in San Jose a week or so ago. It was all about publishing and how it’s changing. And about the tools others are using to move this industry into the 21st century.

It was a great conference. It was a mix of novice sessions and advanced. Since I’ve been online since, yikes!, 1985, and I built my own early sites in Notepad, some of the basic electronic / web stuff I already knew. But, there was plenty I didn’t. In addition, I met a lot of people, which was really the highlight of the conference. Who came, and who didn’t was really interesting.

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June 11, 2007

Tools of Change conference

Hope to meet up with you at the Tools of Change Conference put on by O’Reilly Media. I’m looking forward to hearing about all the changes happening in the publishing world. I’m sure I’ll be exhausted when I come home, but they have some great speakers lined up: Chris Anderson, Tim O’Reilly, John Ingram.

I love books and writing and publishing — at least the book world. And now I’m gonna sit and absorb what others have to say aboaut what’s happening. It’s an exciting time and O’Reilly are certainly qualified to put on a conference like this. I heard that at BEA much of the conversaton was about technology and how the book world is changing.

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May 17, 2007

The changing face of publishing

We all know publishing is changing. From Craig’s List to The Wall Street Journal to print on demand, technology has changed and is continuing to change how we publish books, magazines, content. How do we know what is going to last and what is a fad? How do we know when to invest and when to stand and watch? How do we know who knows what they are talking about?

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May 1, 2006

Pocket books no longer fit in my pocket

This is a rant. Many new mass market paperback books are being issued in a larger size. These books are taller and often wider than the old mass market paper backs I usually buy. They also cost about $2 more, bringing the cost of a paperback to almost $10.

On some of these books there is a sticker that says this design is for more comfortable reading. I have spoken with employees of Borders and written to Simon & Schuster. I have been told that these books have been designed for easier reading. I suspect they mean the baby boomers are getting older and finding it more difficult to read small print. Okay, I get that.

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April 21, 2006

Anecdotal

Okay, so you’ve written that novel. And you’re publishing it yourself. Now what? Do you have what it takes to market your book? To sell enough copies to make it a success? I talked with one author who has done just that. Yes, it takes effort. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it’s scary. But it can be exciting, too.

Cinnabar Books blog I met J.Brooks Dann the other day for coffee at the Starbucks on 4th at Brannan, in SOMA. We had been introduced by a mutual friend and had met face to face at a BAIPA meeting. We got to talking about his book, Anecdotal, a novel he has written and is marketing successfully.

We talked about how he has achieved the success he has with his book. What stuck with me is: “I’m not afraid to get out there and sell my book.”

He has distribution in about 30 bookstores now. But what’s really interesting is how he got that distribution and what else he has done to sell his books. He holds readings — in bookstores and bars… mostly in the West. He meets store managers and owners face to face. He delivers the books to the stores. He travels. He makes himself vulnerable. He opens himself to rejection, to slings and arrows, and people being insensitive and critical.

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