Month: October 2011

Sales per book

Sales per book

This is the dark secret of the book industry, and one of the new truths of the music business. Every year, total book sales have been relatively flat, growing just a bit. But, the price of books has been rising, so that means that unit sales, the number of books sold, is flatter still. Missing…

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Part of the pack

Part of the pack

Non-fiction authors and journalists often travel in packs. An idea comes up, it feels safe, editors assign it, publishers acquire it and the pack heads in. You’ve seen the scrum of 30 or 40 photographers in front of a house, all taking the same picture. You’ve probably read more trivializing and insensitive Steve Jobs stories…

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In pursuit of strangers

In pursuit of strangers

You can see the marketing problem of every business just by glancing at the plight of the typical author. Once a year, once every other year, he has to come out of his university office/hovel/apartment/rural enclave and go on the road. He has to do Leonard Lopate and the Today show, a spate of blogs,…

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