One of the most disappointing parts of my job is having a very good book published to lukewarm sales. Many times, we can point a finger at the publisher and say they didn’t do x, y, and z. But sometimes—like earlier this month with one of my incredibly talented authors who has written a fantastic book—there is nobody to blame. The book has been published and it simply isn’t selling. And nobody knows why.
In cases like this, where the book is really very well done and where seemingly everything possible has been done by the publisher and the author to generate sales, I try to develop new ideas for marketing.
In the case of this particular book, I have met with the author and asked him to pull out all the stops in terms of using his contacts—both to garner reviews and to set up additional interviews and book signings.
I am also pressing on to see what if any film/tv rights we might be able to sell.
I am working with the book’s publisher to see what can be done to coordinate solid electronic sales of this book when the paperback is launched as we believe that e-book sales can help drive up print sales in the right formats.
Finally, I am talking with my client about moving forward and thinking about the next book. He is a fantastic writer and rather than having him dwell on something we cannot control, I am encouraging him to begin something new.
The fact is that ours is a business of surprises, good ones and bad. This is why many of us do what we do—serendipity can be quite seductive.
So, again persistence has to be the lesson here. When a good book doesn’t work, and all avenues to make it work have been exhausted, it is time to move on to the next one.
Do you agree?