Friday, September 26, 2008

An Author Can Always Dream

Everything starts as somebody's daydream.” -Larry Niven

Finding The Ride on the New York Times Best Seller list; hearing from Oprah’s producers that my book is going to be her book of the month; walking into my local Barnes and Noble and finding the book prominently displayed on the front table; and, winning the lottery are four of my favorite things to daydream about. Can you guess which is the least likeliest to happen?

Less than one percent of manuscripts submitted are published, so I know I am a very lucky person. Still I imagined the most difficult daydream to pull off would be winning the lottery.

At least that was my guess prior to reading Can You Buy Your Way onto the Front Table at Barnes & Noble? on on Big Bad Book Blog. Click on the title to read the entire article. Although it was sad to learn there is no way for me to occupy this coveted position, I found the write- up most interesting.

According to the article, premier shelf placement, or even what books to carry and promote aren't decided by the store manager or employees, but by category buyers. These decisions usually occur five to six months in advance of publication. This means you must have a rep that solicits a ‘buy and a placement’ promotion. But first, you must have a publisher that actually has the money to afford this sort of promotion. Another stipulation is you must be an author who already has name recognition, a platform and a marketing plan.

The hurdles unknown authors from a small publishing houses such as ArcheBooks have to stumble across to have any chance of success are already too numerous to count. So it is rather disheartening to learn that although you have an excellent product, corporate bookstore offices are not interested. I wonder how many wonderful books have fallen into black holes simply because the author and/or publisher do not have the money to compete with ‘the big boys.’

Of course, there are always exceptions and success stories like J.K. Rowling or Dan Brown to keep this author’s daydreams alive.

On the other end of the spectrum, I stumbled across One For the Books bookstore in Cape Coral, Florida. It’s what a bookstore used to be; shelves from floor to ceiling crammed with new and used books. It is obvious, the owners Don and Monica, love what they do. They also kindly agreed to place a couple of autographed copies of my book on their shelves. If any of you are looking for a signed copy, I hope you will check them out. We need to support our independent booksellers before they all disappear.

What are your favorite daydreams?

Thanks for stopping by. See you next week.

Jane Kennedy Sutton
Author of The Ride

Tags: The Ride, Archebooks, Larry Niven, New York Times Best Seller List , Oprah, Barnes and Noble, lottery, Big Bad Book Blog, Rowling, Dan Brown, One For the Books, Cape Coral

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Jane's Ride - Novelist Jane Kennedy Sutton's journey through the ups and downs of the writing, publishing and marketing world