Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What Would You Say About Your Book for $30,000?

To place a full-page ad in the Sunday New York Times Book Review, as a first-time author, you will be given a discounted rate of $30,000. How many books must you sell just to break even and what would you say or present in this advertisement?

Let’s first say that such an ad rarely pays for itself when you are evaluating it purely on the basis of the sale of a book. However, if the ad gets people to buy several books, products, or services, then you’re talking about a better opportunity to recoup your costs. The other reason you’d take out an ad is because it makes a statement. It puts you into a visible position of authority.

You can’t always just throw money at something and expect instant love, fame, and success. But an ad in the nation’s most prominent paper does make a statement. If it’s coupled with other PR and marketing efforts, it will help get you noticed; but if you only rely on one ad to put you on the map, forget it.

In the end, you have to analyze it this way: Could the money be better spent? Most likely.

Interview With Publishing Graduate Student Anna Walters

1. What are you hoping to accomplish as a grad student in publishing? The endless pursuit to learn is essential throughout life. I think every graduate student has an innate passion for a chosen field, yet they strive to complement their inner-fire. I’ve completed almost two years at Pace University (studying to receive an M.S. in Publishing), with a colossal cup of black coffee and determination on my desk. While taking classes, I have interned in the editorial department at two remarkable publications, The Paint Horse Journal in Fort Worth, TX and the Buffalo Spree in Buffalo, NY. Gaining hands-on experience in the publishing industry and applying the knowledge I’ve learned in the classroom ties it all together. I recommend to anyone interested in publishing to grow professionally through studying and experiencing the environment. As a graduate student, I wish to develop multifaceted skills and hope that one day I can bring something new to the industry.

2.  What have you learned so far that makes you feel a publishing career sounds appealing? The graduate publishing program at Pace University introduces students to the various facets of the publishing industry, including marketing, editorial, distribution, eBooks, financial aspects, and more. I have enjoyed exploring an array of information and learning from professors’ matchless expertise. Along with knowledge of the industry, I think a career in publishing has always had a personal appeal. In On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, Stephen King wrote, “Life isn’t a support-system for art. It’s the other way around.” This quote relates to my feelings about the industry. The individuals that work in publishing are innovative, promote language, and feed the world with engaging content. Whether it is a big publishing house, an independent publisher, a weekly newspaper, or monthly magazine, everyone in publishing has a mission and the ability to impact countless lives with published text. I want to be a part of that “support-system for life.”

3. What do you love about books? I love everything about books! They preserve the beauty and power of imagination—fiction can take the reader down unnamed streets or into the depths of a fanciful world. I like that books affect each reader differently, and remain a universal bond of language, emotion, and truth. Readers become a part of the unknown, to enter vast kingdoms or submerge in the waters of romance. After turning the very last page, a title may forever leave a mark. My favorite authors are: Patrick Rothfuss and Ernest Hemingway.  The finest feeling is picking a book off the shelf to revisit an old friend.

4.  As a reader and a consumer of books what can the publishing industry do to get more books read by more people? Author involvement and events are a great way to reach readers. I am also a big fan of social media such as, Twitter. I follow a lot of publishing houses and it is a great way to stay up-to-date about upcoming titles and join in on discussions.  Publishers can utilize Twitter to directly connect with readers and show a more personal side. It’s like building a tower of communication with customers, which helps information spread rapidly and efficiently—and the social media outlet can be a natural way to drive sales. A popular discussion is that publishers need to think more like brands and maximize on their strengths as a brand. I think this is a positive development, in light of being a consumer.

5.  Do you prefer paper or digital books? Why? Ever since I was a little girl, a paper book was a “portal” to fantasy lands and unforgettable tales. A paper book is both comforting and nostalgic.  I prefer paper books, because I like to hold a tangible book in my hands and grew up engrossed in their pages. Although, I do believe digital adaptation is very important in the publishing industry. I think every publisher should offer an eBook version of their titles due to the changing societal consumer.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. 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 blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2013

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