Monday, August 11, 2008

Book sales up - publishers down

The good news is we're selling books. Not a lot, but some and in a few good places. Kittery Trading Post bought half a dozen to try. More friends have ordered some too. In two instances they were gifts to their friends. I also heard from Jessica at Maine in Print. She asked for a picture and details about the book and said she would try to include the information in the next issue. I have spoken with two prominent publishers in the state and laid things on the line with to speak. That is I let them know our publisher was jumping ship and we needed someone to come rescue our life boat. Their response was cordial and encouraging. Send us a copy the said, and so I have. Now we wait some more to see what they think and if they will get back to me. Meanwhile I've been sending out more unsolicited emails. Again this letter is pretty forthright. I've sent it to a variety of book stores and book sellers in Bangor and the Ellsworth area. The letter basically says "Here I am world. Please take notice." Oh well, its still fun. Thankfully it doesn't cost anything more then my time to hunt up the addresses and send these notes. If I send ten and get one response that would be success. Years ago in IBM we used to plan on a 100:1 ratio. That is you had to have 100 prospects that would eventually reduce to ten potentials that would become one buying customer. In those days we used to do mass mailings via the post office. Now we can just click SEND and accomplish nearly the same thing. What I like most about this though is meeting the folks. Eventually someone will call or send a note and then we can swap a few emails and get to know a little bit more about each other and our businesses. As far as finding a new publisher goes...if I don't make it with publishers in the state then I'll have to go across the boarder to NH and the rest of New England. I notice many "Maine" themed books on the shelves that have been published by firms outside the state. So that's not the worst way to go. I expect those writers also offered their works to the prominent in-state publishers and when nothing came of that, they went looking elsewhere. Or maybe the out-of-state publisher had better terms or catered to a niche market. For now it's a bit of a waiting game, waiting to hear back from the emails and from the in-state publishing houses. I have had one request to speak later this year at a local Grange meeting. That sounds like it could be a lot of fun. With a little luck it would be in conjunction with a pot-luck dinner which is one of my most favorite things.

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