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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Why We Publish What We Publish . . . and How We Market.


This will be fairly brief and I hope unconditionally clear.

We publish because we love what we do, and we do it with the intent of being the best in the business in general, and in the American Civil War arena in particular.

The buying decisions of our readers and supporters around the world, the decisions of committees that assign awards, the national book clubs that select our titles, and the quality of the authors who ask to publish their work with us (often over and over) tend to be a good barometer of how we are doing. We don't always succeed, but we work hard with high goals and aspirations.

We only select books that offer fresh, original, solid research and topic coverage that is well written and attractively presented. (Generally speaking, we accept about one in 30 submissions.) We do not shy away from well-presented arguments and contrarian views-- even if it provides some readers with anxiety, a mild panic disorder, additional insomnia, or even some mild depression and rage while curling up in the fetal position. Pop a Xanax and wash it down with a couple fingers of Maker's Mark and enjoy it for what it is: a different perspective.

Finally, we market aggressively inside and outside the book trade. Our authors know this and appreciate it when they get their royalty checks. Recently, however, I read someone who claimed that I intentionally over-hyped a title just to sell it and admitted to him that I had done so. I also had someone tell me a person emailed him and claimed the same thing. People who know me, know our program, and know our books understand that is complete baloney.

Several people are involved in writing, proofing, and approving marketing copy, from the author and myself to our marketing director; sometimes the copy editor and even the developmental editor occasionally have a say. Even our accounts manager reads the copy and comments. We know our books inside and out before a single word is published, and the entire purpose is to inform you of what we believe is inside the book, and what you can expect in exchange for your hard-earned dollars. We stand firmly behind our marketing campaigns, dust jacket copy, and advertising blurbs. Period.

Thank you for your continued support.

Happy Opening NFL day. Happy continued reading.

-- tps


Anonymous said...


By branding SB as a 'Civil War publisher in particular' you pigeonhole your company to a specialty too often overdone for too long for a diminishing market.

SB telling AMERICAN stories. Think about it.

"Go on again with fresh courage,"

TPS said...

Kevvy, When you open your wallet and work 60 hours a week, and have to meet payroll--you can frame your company any way you wish. I know a little about the written word--and intended precisely what I wrote.

Anonymous said...


Not doubting you work very hard, but where's it leading to?

Five years from now, are you going to be plugging yet another CW general?

Time not only to 'step up', but to 'step OUT.'

SB is an AMERICAN publisher. Instead of 'same ol, same ol', go for a ring!


Anonymous said...

While I don't necessarily agree with everything you have said in your previous posts, I do admire the fact that you aggressively market your author's books and vehemently defend them in the public forum.

My experience with my own publisher's is quite the opposite. Lack of marketing and apathy I think would characterize most trade publishers these days. But of course that is my opinion.

TPS said...

Thanks Chris. I appreciate your kind words. I would be worried about anyone who agrees with anyone all the time. Keep up the good work on your blog.