Thursday, 3 November 2011

The Weird Book Trade

Writing was fun, but marketing is equally enjoyable. My book is selling steadily (1/4 of the 1000 copies print run so far).

This is better than break even point, so from here it’s all profit – not that I wrote it to make a quid.

It’s sold on consignment, although a few outlets are happy to buy say ten copies outright and give me the cheque straight up. One problem is shipping costs. Books are heavy. I’m currently looking at a quote from Toll-Ipec to get copies to centres like Adelaide and Sydney. I’ve sold plenty on-line.

The deal that works best is for me to send a consignment and to phone back in a month to see how they’re going. I’ve had to set up an invoicing system and a data base, tasks I hadn’t considered in my planning.

It’s necessary to maintain a momentum. People have to know the book’s out there. One way of doing this is radio gigs, and I’m doing one tomorrow on Radio National. This will make three so far (Local ABC and Radio101.5 FM Adelaide). There was discernible surge in sales after the last one.

Today I have a speaking gig here in Toowoomba. I’m never too sure what people want to hear. I’d be happy to say “Buy the bloody thing and read it”, but I doubt that would go down well. Apparently there are about 150 rolling up today, so it could be interesting. I’ll take a boxful and hope for some sales. Talk about singing for your supper….

I was surprised at the variability in the way the bookstores do business. The ABC shop requires that you go through their Sydney head office. Dymocks are happy to buy books if you walk in off the street and they like what they see, and Mary Ryan’s (a Queensland crew) have been great, even setting up a dedicated display in their local shop.

They also shout me free coffee, so I go there a bit.

 The book trade is in a sorry state at the moment with bookstores closing all over the place. Gen Ys and Millennials as a rule don’t buy books. They get most of their entertainment on-line and via hand held devices.

Maybe I should look at getting Jellybeans on an e-book. It’s a fairly straightforward process.


cav said...

Oops, I missed this post yesterday so didn't get the chance to tune into to radio national. That's the station that plays the funny music isn't it? Oh and the announcers are paid by the hour - that's why they speak so s-l-o-w-l-y.

Good luck with the book - maybe I should write an endorsement on my blog - that'll get to 10 readers.

1735099 said...

Any publicity is good publicity.....

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