Against All Odds, Small Presses Prosper Indies find ways to work through a tough economy By Lynn Andriani and Jim Milliot — Publishers Weekly, 3/2/2009
Despite brutal economic conditions, several independent publishers managed to find ways to grow both their sales and profits in 2008. How did they do it? They are not afraid to be frugal—forgoing advances in favor of offering higher royalties, for example; and they practice innovation—“mining data” for new audio prospects, in the case of Tantor, or teaching authors how to self-promote, as Morgan James does. These 11 presses have adopted a combination of strategies that have helped them not only survive in the recession, but prosper.
Six years after its founding, Morgan James Publishing is making its first appearance on PW’s fast-growing small press list. The “entrepreneurial publisher” operates under a model that’s becoming increasingly common: no advances and high royalties. Yet Morgan James makes an extraordinary effort to help its authors to grow their own business—whether an author is a self-help guru or a financial advisor—through promoting their books (the house specializes in business, self-help, inspirational and health books).
Founder David Hancock, a former mortgage banker, says the company helps its authors sell books by hosting educational events. “Our book sales are up 52% over last year, and that’s because we try to teach authors how to market their books. It’s had a significant impact on book sales.” Advertising and marketing are generally the authors’ responsibility; Morgan James markets to bookstores and an e-mail list it has. But ultimately, publicity and promotion is up to the authors, “and we teach them how to do it,” Hancock says. Plus, if authors use a public relations firm that Morgan James approves of, the publisher will pay a percentage of the cost.
When Morgan James launched, it required its authors to pay for book design, and did some custom publishing as well. “But we’ve since moved from that,” says Hancock—although the house has a self-publishing imprint, Persona Publishing, which Hancock says will positively affect the house’s bottom line for this year. The company partners with Author Solutions for Persona titles. http://www.morganjamespublishing.com
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Making Your Book A Best Seller
Saturday, February 28, 2009, 10:44 AM
Like most authors I know, my friend Peggy
McColl dreamed of seeing her book on the
New York Times Best Seller List, the most
prestigious bestseller list in the country.
Well, on May 20, 2007, Peggy saw her dream
Her book “Your Destiny Switch” not only hit
#13 on the New York Times Best Seller List for
hardcover advice, but also #3 on Barnes & Noble
and #2 on Amazon.com, just behind Harry Potter.
In less than a week, Peggy sold more books than
95% of authors sell in their lifetimes and
surprisingly, it cost her practically nothing
to do it!
Want to discover how she did it … and how you
can use her strategies to make your own book an
almost instant bestseller?
If so, you’re invited to a free telephone seminar
this Thursday, March 5th on which you’ll hear
Steve Harrison interview Peggy and her business
partner Randy Gilbert about their proven formula
for creating bestsellers.
Regardless of where you are in the publishing process
… whether your book is still in the idea stage …
just published … or even if it’s been out for years,
Teleseminar Thu Feb 26 with Ex Oprah Producer February 23rd, 2009
If you missed my recent telephone seminar with an ex-Oprah guest booker, you’re in luck. The teleseminar was so popular, I’m offering it again on Thursday, February 26th. On this free 90-minute teleseminar, you’ll discover the three big secrets for getting booked as a guest on top national TV shows such as Oprah, Good Morning America, Today Show, The View, CNN and Fox News Channel.