Monday, February 6, 2012

You are NOT saving the economy by buying that...

If something is not right for you, learn how to say "No thank you." and mean it.

I dislike salespeople that sell, sell, sell, sell, sell.  How about solving a problem I might have.  I've learned that there are few things in life that a salesperson cannot overstate. Everything is always "The Best", "The Strongest", "Most User-Friendly".

In college marketing classes, they call that "Puffery"; in my office, I call it "Blah, Blah, Blah."

Personally, the more superlatives, adjectives and other fancy language a salesperson uses on me, the less I believe him. I'm cynical and skeptical, it's true; but it's only because I've been bitten here (and there) in my career. So how do I make sure I'm not being duped or oversold? I question. I object. I suspect... But more actively and objectively, I test.

Salespeople beware.  There is a new consumer out there that cares what they buy, from whom they buy it, and what "its" impact is on the world.  Make sure you are solving a problem, rather than just trying to make a buck.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Don't Let the Ship Hit the Fan...

Shipping materials need love too...

When we are doing ANY shipping on ANY book, we test the packaging that we want to use with that book. 

Is it... (Not what the manufacturer says, but what it actually is.)

Durable?  We'll throw it off a couple of buildings and drive over it ourselves, thank you.  Lightweight?  We'll weigh that out ourselves with all the parts.  Ecofriendly?  Specifications please!

Bottom line...

Yes, it does impact your bottom line.  Make sure your books arrive to your customer's doorstep in good shape and looking professional.  And make sure your shipping materials aren't adding more to the cost of your shipping than you are collecting for shipping.  Remember, you may have to pay for an extra pound of shipping for even a fraction of an ounce. 

It matters.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Dating (in Publishing, that is)

Clients often wonder why we want to wait to release their book. It's sitting there all ready to go, and yet we insist on waiting.  "UGH!" they say -- "But people are already in line outside the bookstores waiting for it to go on sale!" 
Self publishers and independent authors are often caught in the trap of their own false impressions of how a book is published. Take the time to publicize your book properly.  You'll need a minimum of four months to get a review from a professional reviewer, or a possible feature in a magazine or any other type of publicity. 

There are several dates you need to know
  • Advance Review Deadline:  4 months ahead of your Publication Date
  • Street Date:  When you have actual books in hand and you can sell them privately
  • Pub Date/Publication Date/Release Date: The date when the industry can start selling you book
Another important date
Copyright Date:  The date when you officially send your book to the Library of Congress.  Make sure you are not sending it ahead of having your book published.  Libraries and other buyers look at that date to determine the book's age.  So if you finished writing your book in December of 2011, finished your editing and layout in June, and set your publication date for November 2012 -- you would set your copyright year as 2013 and NOT 2011.  Why?  Buyers look at the book's copyright year when deciding one title over another.  In January of 2013 with a copyright year of 2011, your book would appear two years old if you set your copyright as the date you finished writing.