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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year. 2010 Should be . . . Interesting

I hope your Christmas was good and that the turn of the calendar passed smoothly, happily, and healthily for you and yours.

2009 is now in the books (no pun intended--well, maybe a small one), and 2010 is upon us. Thankfully, we escaped the devastation suffered by so many publishers in 2009, although the last month of the third quarter and the first month of the last quarter witnessed dramatically higher trade book returns--something Savas Beatie has largely avoided throughout our history.

Happily, our marketing department's efforts paid dividends in 2009 by opening new sales outlets and increasing specialty sales. Sarah, Veronica, Kim, and Tammy also worked closely with our hardworking authors and opened many new opportunities for them. The result was significantly increased media exposure (ABC Nightly News, Fox News, CNN, and major syndicated radio talk shows) and increased opportunities for personal author sales. These author efforts, in turn, help drive people into the bookstores.

As we have been preaching year in and year out, author efforts translate into increased trade sales and reduced returns. In nearly 100% of the time, a book that experiences heavy returns does not have an author working Facebook, Twitter, on the speaking circuit, etc. In one case this year a very popular author suffered staggering returns in a single month, and the author is hardworking and does everything right. As it turned out, the books were returned in cases unopened as a means of paying down debt owed to the distributor, and all the returns were resold into the trade in orders received over the next sixty days. Since publishers carry the paper for these books (publishers do not get paid for four months after the month of sale), the returns are at the least very frustrating for both authors and publishers alike. They in payment directly affects the bottom line of any royalty statement.

Our 2010 Spring line-up (which will be set forth in a coming post) includes a wide assortment of titles and authors. We are very excited about each one look forward to presenting them to you.

In my next post, I am going to answer a question sent to me by a reader about changes in the book trade over the past decade or so, and how this affects our authors.

Many thanks for your support and all of us wish you well in 2010 and beyond.



Anonymous said...

Happy New Year to you, too. Thanks for publishing the best of the best out there, sir.



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