Nathan Bransford, Author


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Following the Market

A couple of different interesting threads of discussion opened up in the comments section of yesterday's post, and there's one in particular that I've been seeing around the Internet lately in different forms, namely the sentiment (or resentment) that agents and publishers determine what's popular and what becomes a bestseller.

To a certain extent, yes, definitely, agents and publishers control the funnel and decide what gets published and what arrives in your friendly neighborhood bookstore. Agents decide which projects to pitch to publishers, editors determine what to publish, and the publishers decide how to spend marketing money. So yes, obviously there is some amount of influence.

But honestly it's kind of like throwing a stick into a river. You can try and throw it in the right spot, but once it hits the current who really knows what's going to happen? And let's face it, how it floats downstream depends a lot more on the stick and the current than the toss.

To be sure, publishers can position a book well, and they can see it take off. There's nothing like a committed publisher to work wonders for a book's success. Or they can do everything in their power and it still might not take off. I think it's tempting for people outside of the biz to think of the publishing industry in monolithic terms, as if there are two people, agent and editor, using the Midas touch to determine what turns to gold. If only.

Just to give an example, sometimes people think that publishers determine what is stocked in big chains and in WalMart. Nuh uh. They can pitch them in there and try to use their influence and reputation to get books stocked, but except for the occasional blind sell-in, stores decide what they're going to stock. Yes, publishers will offer to pay for placement for some books, but stores decide whether to take them up on that and which books get the good spots.

So even before a book arrives in a bookstore or superstore a massive array of people have made a bet on a book. An agent thinks it will sell. An editor thinks it will sell. The sales team pitches it, the publicist promotes it, the buyers decide to stock it, the newspapers decide what to review, etc. etc. etc. The books you see in the bookstore are the books that a whole lot of people have guessed are the books that will sell the most copies. And even with so many people weighing in, there are still tons of surprises!

And the surprises happen because ultimately book buyers determine the market. Everyone else is just chasing.

To a large extent, readers get the books they deserve. This isn't the TV business where there are only so many TV shows on, or the movie business where there are only a couple hundred movies in mainstream theaters. Every B&N and Borders has tens of thousands of individual titles. Tens of thousands! There is a ton of choice out there, and nearly every conceivable niche is filled. And out of those tens of thousands a few books catch on with the public and become bestsellers. Publishers may have helped that happen, but at the end of the day, to paraphrase Monty Python, "No one expects THE SHACK."

Now, obviously with so many people chasing books that will sell, there's not always a pure incentive for a book to be really good. Some books will sell regardless of quality and some big authors may mail-in the occasional dud. Buyer beware (although I would argue that most of the time people call something "crap" just because books are subjective). And honestly, agents and editors are actually really good at determining what will sell. Sure, no one's batting 1.000, but you can't last long in this business if the books you champion don't sell.

As long as we're operating in a capitalistic society, this is how the game is played. The publishing industry has been a for-profit industry for a couple hundred years now, and the "they only publish crap" complaint has been around just as long. Trust me, we're just trying to follow the market.






47 comments:

abc said...

I'm commenting first with nothing to say. Except good post, Nathan! I take your word on everything.

Anonymous said...

You spread the blame accordingly, Thanks Nathan :)

You make a good point, in essence the buyer(reader) is the tastemaker. But I do think the reader's view (oftentimes but not always) are shaped by marketing and advertising.... not saying that a bad thing either. It is what it is.

All I as a writer can do is write the best book I can, pitch, hope an agent and an editor loves it, and hope the reader picks up on it. And I'm willing to do marketing along with what the publisher does.

Kristan said...

I like the "throwing a stick in a river" analogy.

The only thought I had is: okay, agents/editors wouldn't last if they couldn't pick books that sell. True. BUT, what about the books they didn't pick? How do we know those wouldn't have sold too, or sold more?

If a trees falls in a forest but no one can hear it... you know?

There's no real point or answer to my thought, but I had it nonetheless. :)

ORION said...

And I've been thinking about this too. What the publisher does to promote and what the author can do. And what works?
It is all just smoke and mirrors?
To continue to blog or not?
I did it to be available to readers and other writers but now its touted as a tool for book sales?
But in reality?
There isn't alot the writer has control over except the next book...

V L Smith said...

I think your comments are accurate. Regardless of what the publishing house puts out there, the readers still have to buy it and it they don't like it, they won't, regardless of how much PR it gets.

On the flip side, if an author gets behind his own book, he or she can work wonders, too.

As I understand it, there's been a shift of responsibility for some of the marketing from the publisher to the author. If you want your book to break free of the bookshelf and do more than languish in the bargain bin, you have to take action.

I read that Chicken Soup for the Soul was on the New York Times Best Seller List for TWELVE YEARS not because the publishing house launched an extended multi-million dollar ad campaign, but because of the authors. Every day they made it a point to be on a radio station talk show somewhere in U.S., no matter how big or how small the radio show.

So it's in the hands of the author. Maybe it's good or maybe it's bad. It all depends on what you decide to do with it. If the author can't or won't get off his duff to bring his own work to the masses, then whose fault is that? Do for yourself what no one else will do.

wickerman said...

I love it when people say this or that is 'crap'. As soon as the Da Vinci Code exploded people were screaming about how much it sucked and there was no reason why it was selling faster than a speeding bullet. My argument was always 'hey someone must be buying it!'.

I think too many people like to hide behind the idea or 'If I write a good book, it will sell'. History would seem to be against you - especially recent history. As Nathan points out, there is more to it than the book being good. You may write a fantastic book, send it to Nathan and have him reject you because he may agree it is wonderfully written, but that there isn;t a big enough audience to sell it to and thus no editor will pick it up. In a perfect world, you'd get points for a well written book. In the publishing world people make more money on something written half as well with a 'Star Wars' logo slapped on top of it.

(incidentally, I'm not knocking anything star wars related, just a franchise that popped into my head)

Dan said...

Nathan, you and the publishing industry are not beautiful and unique snowflakes.

Even if a film, a book, a restaurant meal, or whatever good is well-crafted - it is still subject to the taste of the consumer, and tastes vary. This is why there are plenty of people who prefer American cheese to something "more refined."

Outside of utility services, your options are limitless.

Which is why everyone has an idea that 'will sell' - because in a world where people buy leftover celebrity food for hundreds of dollars, it probably will!

Anonymous said...

Publishers spending money to market the book increases the chance that book will sell -- dramatically, in my opinion.

You see this in YA all the time. The very notion of a huge six figure advance IS a marketing ploy -- the industry buzzes about the book for months beforehand. Every YA author buys and reads it, to try and figure out what magical potion is between the pages.

Even the books that don't get great reviews sell WAY more copies than the average book, because advertising is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If I have to choose between my book being discovered by the public or having a huge publicity campaign so it's shoved down the public's throat, I'll take the publicity, please. It's not even about the book, it's about the publishers bottom line. They'll promote that thing until they make that advance back.

Adaora A. said...

That's definetly what I believe. It's the people out there buying books, and it's the people who pay the fee to see the movie. There are so many books - and films - out there which recieved horrendous reviews. Then they go on to become smash best sellers. What the people want, the people get.

Nathan Bransford said...

anon-

There's definitely truth to that, but there's also some truth to the fact that the advance and accompanying publicity also reflect that a lot of people think the book will sell. So in some respects it's a self-fulfilling prophecy -- publishers pay a lot of money because they think it will sell, and sure enough, it does. Part of that is helping make it happen, part of that is that when publishers are very confident about a book they're often (but not always) right.

Adaora A. said...

publishers pay a lot of money because they think it will sell, and sure enough, it does. Part of that is helping make it happen, part of that is that when publishers are very confident about a book they're often (but not always) right.

But they can only go on what sort of thing has sold in the past for the public can't they? How do they know what the public wants before the public gets the chance to set their sights on it? They've gotta be banking on history repeating itself haven't they? That's why you see a lot of the same projects in queries. Loads of authors are out there wanting to ride on the sucess of the last thing in (coming from whatever genre they decided they want to write in).

AstonWest said...

Publishers and editors do choose what they hope to be the next bestseller...but as you mentioned, ultimately the reading public is going to dictate which book ends up that way.

No amount of money pushed in by the publisher is going to make a person like a crappy book enough to recommend it to someone.

But then, readers are like editors and agents. Everyone's taste is different.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nathan,

Re: "...agents and editors are actually really good at determining what will sell." Don't publishers lose money on the majority of books they acquire? Yes, agents and editors don't bat 1,000, but wouldn't it be super-human if they even batted 500?

Eileen said...

It almost seems like trying to figure out the stock market.

pjd said...

I hate it when a Stanford guy makes such a well reasoned and coherent statement that I can't argue with it. Mad props for the stick throwing analogy. Now I will think of editors as Pooh Bear and authors as Piglet. Editors of course are Eeyore.

The complex machine you describe makes the question, "What's going to be hot next year?" nearly impossible to answer reliably. Except perhaps "the weather," what with global warming.

pjd said...

Sorry, meant agents are Pooh Bear.

Deborah Blake said...

Nathan--
You talked a little bit in yesterday's post about chick lit and trends, and today we're talking about who influences the publishing world.

Here's my question: I keep hearing that chick lit is dead. The authors I talk to (even the ones who are successfully making a living selling books that are tagged as chick lit) say, "Whatever you do, don't call it chick lit."

I've been told that agents won't represent it and publishers won't buy it.

But I am still reading (and buying) it. My friends are still reading (and buying) it. What do you think? Is chick lit dead?

And if so, is it because the public doesn't want it, or because someone in publishing decided it was "over"?

[And I'm hearing the same thing about vampire books...but I don't see them slowing down any, either. Am I crazy? What am I missing?]

Deborah Blake said...

Nathan--
You talked a little bit in yesterday's post about chick lit and trends, and today we're talking about who influences the publishing world.

Here's my question: I keep hearing that chick lit is dead. The authors I talk to (even the ones who are successfully making a living selling books that are tagged as chick lit) say, "Whatever you do, don't call it chick lit."

I've been told that agents won't represent it and publishers won't buy it.

But I am still reading (and buying) it. My friends are still reading (and buying) it. What do you think? Is chick lit dead?

And if so, is it because the public doesn't want it, or because someone in publishing decided it was "over"?

[And I'm hearing the same thing about vampire books...but I don't see them slowing down any, either. Am I crazy? What am I missing?]

JES said...

I was out of town and -- gasp! -- offline for a few days, so haven't yet read yesterday's post and comments. But this one seems characteristically commonsensical.

You know the joke about the elderly lady's belief that turtles hold up the world, right? (Not counting the Pratchett version.) The punchline goes something like "You can't fool me, young man -- it's turtles, all the way down!" The question of what makes a book succeed, agent/editor/publisher, author, book itself, or reader... well, you can't fool me, young man: it's symbiosis all the way down!

Love the stick-throwing analogy, as others have commented.

Lynne said...

One of my friend's captured an agent, who liked her book a lot, barring a couple of 'change this.' Then the agent said she'd tried to push it to the editor, who said 'no.' Reason? It had more than 2 characters and sub-plots. Editor wanted a small I.Q. sort of book. This pretty much flattened her and I, since our books don't qualify. Second note relates to Oprah's Book Club. Everyone I know read PILLARS OF THE EARTH light years ago! Great book with a fabulous opening line: 'The young boys came early for the hanging.' Or something close to that. So, if we're throwing sticks,
I shall follow A.A. Milne: Pooh-sticks! A bridge, a stream and your friends. Thanks for the insight.

Joanne said...

Agents, editors, sales team, publicist - a lot of belief is behind each book, and still it's at the mercy of the consumer. Maybe it's necessary to look at trends in marketing rather than trends in books. If publishers can find a fresh way to reach the reader, there's a new buzz?

Anonymous said...

In the words of Stephen King from his On Writing, the phrase isn't "best writing author," it's "best-selling author."

There's is definitely an element of salesmanship involved.

Also, having a huge advance can be a double-edged sword, in that not earning out the advance will be seen as a dissapoitment by the industry, even with sales that would be considered strong for an average author.

How about podasting? THere's been some podcaster success stories lately, mostly from POD thriller authors.

Stew said...

I just witnessed such a conversation at Absolutewrite. What I've gathered from it and every conversation like it is that I can control what I put on the page. I can control how I represent it in a query letter. I can control to whom I send that query. The rest is truly out of my hands.
I figure, if I am the tree that thrown stick came from, that's a good thing.

Stew said...

I just witnessed such a conversation at Absolutewrite. What I've gathered from it and every conversation like it is that I can control what I put on the page. I can control how I represent it in a query letter. I can control to whom I send that query. The rest is truly out of my hands.
I figure, if I am the tree that thrown stick came from, that's a good thing.

Haste yee back ;-) said...

I'll go with three comments.

1) In 1989 I had a picture book published, was nicely reviewed in Publisher's Weekly... When ask what I'd like to do next, as this company had "first look" contractual rights, I said. "I've an idea for a dinosaur book!" Company said, "Nope, dinosaurs are over!" (I often wonder how many dinosaurs books have been published since 1989).

2) When young I used to work in a bait shop selling fishing tackle and such... Every fall we'd get an influx of snowbirds from the north who came for the sunshine and the great fishing. "Well?" they'd ask, "Which lure is catching fish." Now me and the other guys would pick the most obscure, unsold lure in the store and say, "This thing is red hot!" Sure enough they'd buy it... and they'd catch fish and others would see them catching fish on that lure and next thing ya know, the store was sold out of the most obscure unsold lure!

3) When it comes to any form of entertainment in this culture, I subscribe 100% to William Goldman's statement... "Nobody knows nothing!"

Haste yee back ;-)

http://www.jacketflap.com/profile.asp?member=PYXX

clindsay said...

"The publishing industry has been a for-profit industry for a couple hundred years now"

Thank you for saying it out loud. It does get wearisome to hear people complain so much about the fact that publishers are actually a business and thus exist to make money.

If you want to write for the sake of art, that's great! But nobody gets published for the sake of art.

Angela said...

You make a good point with this post. But do you think it's possible that a first-time author with a well-written compelling story trying to sell their book could be passed over simply because the editor is looking for something specific? And this could trickle down to looking for an agent in that an agent wouldn't want to take on said book because they know their editor contacts are looking for something specific and this particular story doesn't fit with it?

If the author has lots of stories in their head, wouldn't knowing what the industry is looking for help decide which story to pick first and then try to sell?

Orange Slushie said...

I think Nathan hit on something when he said that to an extent readers get the books they deserve.

You could spend the rest of your life reading the already existing internet sites, blogs and forums about the publishing industry aimed at wannabe writers. At some point they all seem to address the complaint that first-time novelists find it almost impossible to get a foot in the door.

My advice to first-time novelists lamenting the lack of opportunities: take an honest look at your own book-buying habits. How many first-time novels by unknown writers have you bought in the last year? Not written by someone already famous for something else; not even reviewed? Just off the shelf in your bookshop after you browsed around.

In all honesty, not many, right? If any. When I began working in publishing three years ago I decided to support the industry I expect to make a living from, and started buying books as often as I could.

Stimulate your own market. Buy 12 debut novels a year. And you'll get the added bonus of reading what IS making it past the gatekeepers in today's market.

Kristin Laughtin said...

And let's face it, how it floats downstream depends a lot more on the stick and the current than the toss.

Good analogy. Sure, which books you decide to represent and pitch to editors does help shape the market, but once you've sold it, it's in large part up to them to keep it afloat.

But a lot of it depends on what mood the consuming public is in. If it could always be predicted, there wouldn't be any books that under-perform (to the publisher's expectations) despite the promotion put into them. Truly a stick in the river.

Good post.

Anonymous said...

I think you are MISSING one MAJOR point - while readers may decide what they will read, their POOL of books to choose from includes ONLY what publishers and editors et al decided to INCLUDE. The book that is EXCLUDED from the start by publishers and editors et al, will never be read and THAT is why folks moan that publishers and editors et al determine the market. Do you DISAGREE?

Nick Travers said...

Eileen is right, publishing is exactly like the stock market: a market driven industry with a bewildering amount of choice and everyone trying to guess the next big trend. It’s all about RISK.

If I discover a new book I like, then when taking the risk that my next purchase will be something I enjoy, I will consider another book by the same author, a similar story or something other people like me enjoyed. Only if I’m feeling adventurous or flushed with money will I take a punt on something totally different, even if I know it is well written, because I might not enjoy it.

The really good stock pickers, the ones that make loads of money, take big risks – we never hear about their dismal failures only their successes. Everyone else jumps on their coat tails: they will never make the big money (or the big losses) but they will make a decent living.

It is exactly the same with publishing. Most publishers/agents/retailers make a decent living promoting something similar to what has already sold well. Only the most skilled or the biggest risk takers will take a punt on something new and untried, no matter how good it is. It’s all about risk.

Haste yee back ;-) said...

Anon 3:20 AM

Perhaps clumsily, but I thought I made that point in 2) of my above post...


Haste yee back ;-)

Erik said...

A very brave admission. Thanks.

I'm still very interested in the esoteric question, "Why do people read?" because I hope that from that we can get some idea what will sell and what won't. The problem is that even if you do write the perfect book for the market as it is, people have to find out about it somehow. The promotional angle is just another problem altogether. ug.

LitWitch said...

The fact that you just compared this process to Poohsticks, is somewhat refreshing but not necessarily comforting. Except to Eeyore, perhaps.

Jeff said...

No amount of money pushed in by the publisher is going to make a person like a crappy book enough to recommend it to someone.

I'm afraid the entire industry of marketing wouldn't exist if this were true. Things would just sell themselves.

People buy things for a lot of different reasons, often for reasons they don't understand or are even aware of. There's quite a bit of interesting research going on with the food choices people make.

And they sometimes recommend things to show that they have read the hip book everyone is talking about. Marketing works because people want to be part of something, they want a shared experience, and the sharing may be more important than the experience.

Anonymous said...

As a marketer, I must say that Jeff is absolutely right.

Jeff said...

Publishing may be like Pooh sticks, but far too often what is published reads like something thought up in Pooh's thoughtful spot.

Now I shall try very hard to write something. Write. Write. Write.

Oh bother.

Orange Slushie said...

anonymous - yes i do disagree, because it's not that simple. Publishers publish what they think people will buy, and to try to determine that they look to the existing market. It's quite a chicken-or-egg question really.

Chris said...

"So even before a book arrives in a bookstore or superstore a massive array of people have made a bet on a book. An agent thinks it will sell. An editor thinks it will sell. The sales team pitches it, the publicist promotes it, the buyers decide to stock it, the newspapers decide what to review, etc. etc. etc. The books you see in the bookstore are the books that a whole lot of people have guessed are the books that will sell the most copies. And even with so many people weighing in, there are still tons of surprises!"

I have to respectfully disagree. You're saying that a whole lot of people have bet on a book, OK, let's look at that. We can take out the sales team, the publicist and the newspapers because all of those are subsets of the other three deciders (not a Bush decider). The agent sells the book to an editor and the company decides they are going with it in a big way and the sales team and publicist are told to pitch this hard, yes?

Sure they may be more or less enthusiastic about something based on taste but they sell what the company's product is. The newspapers respond largely to what is going to be in stores and thus they are a subset as well. True, they may pan a book, but getting it reviewed alone is on no small importance.

The point I am making is that it is an illusion to believe that a blockbuster in any industry is the result of luck or even a trained eye for the market alone. I believe it has far more to do with self-fulfilling prophecy.

We put money behind that which we expect to succeed and then say, "Look, we were right about that one." Are their failures? Sure, but if you take a book and put a huge ad budget behind it, get it a buzz in the retail game, they put it in the front of the stores and discount it on day one... well, that isn't really luck of foresight that made that book a huge success. It has nothing to do with whether the book is crap or Fitzgerald's Lost manuscript, it's about fulfilling expectations by pouring resources at them.

Certainly one can point to anomalies in this theory, but I haven't heard it voiced before. Everyone keeps talking about what the audience wants, but the audience buys what is put in front of them, they go for what they have heard about.

Are there 10K books at a B&N? Sure, but how much of a person's entertainment time are they going to spend seeking the entertainment instead of consuming it? An unknown novelist on a shelf in the back of Fic and Lit has a very poor chance against the unknown novelist who has the backing of the publisher, who has great display, who's publisher got him on NPR, whose book is discounted at 30% with the other bestsellers.

And then we are to believe the success was foresight alone? I say no, I say that industries largely create their own successes based on their expectations which come from a false impression of the market's motives.

Look, you put a movie on 4000 screens and promote it to the tune of 150 million dollars and you damn well should get it to open. It's really the abject failure in that situation which is the anomaly.

Does the reader have a say? Of course they do, but they likewise have a collectively reinforced push toward the consumption of a given thing. It isn't merely free will on their part, it's about which coercive path you're going to follow.

Certainly you can never guarantee the success of a given book nor its failure, but you can weight the outcome very heavily and so must not call it chance and market foresight when an industry is right.

I'm saying that all three industries you mentioned are under a delusion. It might be an operational delusion insofar as the results are the same, but they do not have the whole picture of causality when it comes to the purchase of a book by a reader.

People seem to look at the Best Seller list and think: "That's clearly what the people want, let's give them more."

Well, how do you know that's true unless you were to give them something else for a time, under the same aggressively marketed conditions?

It is, I believe, a misapprehension of what motivates the end user.

Nathan Bransford said...

Chris-

I think you make some interesting points, and I've written elsewhere about how some of it is indeed a self-fulfilling prophecy. But I also wouldn't overstate the impact of marketing when it comes to books.

Yes, marketing helps, and there is a certain degree of "opening" a big book. But this isn't like putting an hour's worth of commercials on TV for weeks to buy a big opening box office. What many people think of as "marketing," such as getting on the Today Show, radio, Oprah, etc., is not driven at all by publishers or the authors -- other people are making the decision about whether to book the author.

And when you look at coop placement in bookstores, publishers have limited control over that as well. All of this, again, gets back to fact that what is most important is the essential book and whether it is connecting with people. Since even the biggest books don't have anything approaching the marketing of a new TV show or movie, much more of the publicity is driven by the book itself.

Definitely, there's a certain amount of chicken-and-egg-ness to all of this, and marketing can really launch a book. But I also think you understate the choice out there -- that scenario you outline, where a lot of different kind of books are given similar marketing budgets... that's every single day in the publishing business.

Nancy D'Inzillo said...

Related to the marketing department questions: I was having this conversation with a children's book author recently that writing a good book isn't necessarily enough if the market isn't ready for it, and it IS the agents and publishers of the world that determine what makes it onto the shelves in the first place. That's not to place all the responsibility on them for what then sells, but getting it on the shelves in the first place is often one of the biggest obstacles a writer faces. That's why it can become important to research markets for your book and figure out if now is the right time for your book to come out. (Or so I hear from some big editors in publishing.) On another blog I frequent they were discussing that romances set in contemporary world settings are hard to find because right now the market has determined readers want more escapist settings. My question then becomes, where do publishers or agents determine this? Like Nathan says, it probably is like throwing a stick into a river, but is what's marketable now determined by what's been selling recently or are there secret polls and marketing firms working on this? As someone with little marketing experience, I am especially interested in those questions.

Sally Ferguson said...

It would look like bleak options if it weren't for the fact that creativity is limitless!

Haste yee back ;-) said...

How to market entertainment...

Human beings are an egocentric bunch. As such, no one wants to be left out. Why? Because then they'd feel their life was just "not as special" as the guy who wasn't left out. We'd feel, "we missed something." Nobody wants to miss anything, especially anything others are enjoying! They can't have a good time while I'm not!

So, to market entertainment you simply convince people that indeed their life would be greatly diminished if they did not read/see/or attend - (you plug in the entertainment style).

That's why HYPE works. It convinces buyers they must read/see/attend "whatever" to have a full and meaningful life. (Is this an illusion/delusion... absolutely, but it works). NOBODY wants a less than full and meaningful life. Hell, that's what jealousy and envy are all about. I'm jealous of you because you read/saw/attended... and I didn't.
I envy you because you read/saw/attended and I didn't.

If you throw enough $$$ (read marketing and advertising here), at the read/see/attend it becomes a big event. An event, if you want a meaningful life, you'd better not miss. Nobody cares if the "event" misses the mark, you just shrug and wait for the next time to get excited about being in the know and having a meaningful life because you're in the know and you read/saw/attended. After all, "you've been there," and maybe the other guy hasn't... too bad for him and then you can feel better about your life. Is this illusional/delusional thinking. YEP! But it'll get you ass up off the couch and separate you from $39.95 of your hard earned cash to witness THE BOXING MATCH OF THE CENTURY, or buy THE GREATEST BOOK EVER WRITTEN, or see THE BEST FILM EVER MADE, or yada, yada, yada... the beat goes on - don't be left out!

Haste yee back ;-)

Jeff said...

That's why HYPE works.

I have a kneejerk reaction to hype. If everybody is talking about it, I don't want to see it unless I already have an interest in it. The Lord of the Rings movies, for example. I knew I was going to the first showing as soon as I heard they were being made, because I already had a tremendous investment in the story.

But take something like American Idol or Survivor - I've never watched either of them. When I read a book I like, I don't want to read more books just like it. I've been told by an editor that I am the exception in this regard. But it takes me years to read a new book. I always wait until the hype is gone, because I truly do not want to be a part of it.

dan said...

Nathan
there is a book here. can you help me bring it out? The New York Times blog reported on this in March, AP is coming out with national wire story next month, CNN has contacted me, there is something here. But it needs help. Someone who believes in the IDEA.

http://pcillu101.blogspot.com

danny bloom
Tufts 1971

Anonymous said...

Just to add, from my view, here in the middle of America,(A little late for this post but relevant, I think)
the news reported that book sales were up -way up- since the recession.
Good news for writers, agents, and publishers!

People want books and movies. Both are up.

Anonymous said...

Can you explain about co-op buys? How much does it cost publishers to buy a space on one of the front tables?

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