Tags: a little bit of magic

Blood Will Tell

Is book marketing more casino than science?

There's a fascinating article in the NY Times about book marketing, and about how books with low advance sometimes become surprise bestsellers. And about how the authors might then get a huge advance for their next book, which doesn't do nearly as well, using Charles Frazier and Curtis Sittenfeld as examples.

In part, the article reads, "[P]ublishers focus much more attention on the hardcover release. As they prepare to introduce a book, any combination of timing, packaging, marketing and other factors could help ignite the mysterious spark that leads to best-sellerdom. Contributing to the success of “The Secret,” for example, could be any or all of the following: the subject, the title, the initial DVD release, the marketing campaign, the power of the Internet, “Oprah” and the latest trend."

What's interesting is the article acts like $40K is a sad, pitiful advance, and I've known authors who have gotten far less than that.

Read more here.

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