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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Publishers & Authors Play “Let’s Make a Deal”



Monty Hall recently died. He was 96 years old.

He was the innovative host of a very popular game show on television, Let’s Make a Deal, back in the 1970s. The show had a great premise, asking audience members if they’d trade what they have for the unknown prize. Sometimes contestants got real lucky – and other times they were wiped out.

It was a show for gamblers, risk-takers, and desperate adventurers. In some way, it was no different than how authors approach book publishing today.

Many writers hope to make a deal by trading in what they have for promises of something greater. Think about it. An author pens a book and looks to turn it into a media sensation. He or she invests money and time in to publicity and marketing. Sometimes it pays off--sometimes it doesn’t.

Some authors believe or hope their book can become a movie. Or they believe if it’s self-published, that they’ll command the attention of a traditional publisher or, if they got published by a small publisher, that they can be grabbed up by a big publisher and possibly earn a decent advance. But it’s all a crapshoot—authors and publishers don’t always know what they are investing in.

Perhaps publishers play “Let’s Make a Deal” more often than authors. Publishers will buy a book or secure the rights to an author without seeing the whole manuscript. Maybe they’ll end up with a dud?

On the other hand, many publishers will agree to publish lots of authors but offer little to no advances in the hopes that none will lose money, but that a handful of titles will breakthrough and lead to riches for the publisher.

Publishers can even hedge their bets by getting authors to pre-order a certain number of books to guarantee no worse than breaking even on a project. The authors can resell the copies at events, on their site, or through bulk sales to various groups or clients that they may have built-in access to.

Let’s Make a Deal boiled down to greed, at times, or to just the risk-taker in people. Some wanted to push limits and curiously crave what riches could be on the other side, negating the possibility that loss and junk also could await them.

It was a show for optimists. Some played it safe after winning some money, but many believed they could do better and were willing to go for it. Authors and publisher, too, continue to make a deal.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs

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