Monday, November 10, 2008

Dear Jeff: My Publisher Sucks What do I Do?

Dear Jeff:
When I got the news that I was going to be signed with a major publisher I was elated. They even had a big meeting with the head of marketing there, the associate publisher, the head of publicity and every other head of this or that where they made promises of the type of promotion they were going to do. Well, in short it never happened. I ended up doing all the promotion. The only thing my nightmare publicist got for me was one blog, one article in a magazine and um ... I think that's it. She and I did not get along at all. And in fact, she and I never had a sit down or phone conversation about what we were going to do specifically to publicize the book. Never went to coffee with them, nothing. She was always "too busy". Jeff, I'm so irritated and confused. What should I do from this point on? -- Robert

Dear Robert,
Sounds like you have cause for concern. But here's the news, your experience is not that unusual, even for authors that have had huge advances. There's something broke in the publishing industry that just is not working and makes the process not so fluid in-house. I do believe the publishing house had all good intentions to do everything they said they would but perhaps they ran out of money in their budget for your book. Each book has a budget. Then again, some publishers will say anything just to get the book off the market so none of their competition gets it, who knows? The point is, don't feel alone, feel motivated. You want respect from the publisher? Sell a lot of books.

Call the special sales department and do speaking gigs, ask the people that book you in lieu of or in addition to your speaking fee for them to buy a certain number of books, say 30 copies. By going through the special sales department they're often 50% off and this will go toward your royalty statement as well. Take control of your career. Get on the road and sell.

Publishers nowadays are nothing more than printing and shipping houses, that's it. The author needs to come to the table with their own marketing & publicity company and their own sales staff even if that company and staff is only them.

The more you can do to not only give your book exposure, but sell books directly, the better. You can no longer blame a book's failure on the publisher because, like I said, they are nothing but a printing and shipping house, that's it. The rest is up to you.

Jeff Rivera

If you need help with your book promotion contact and we'll find a way to help you within your budget.