In my last post I exposed the awful truth that there’s a lot publishers don’t know. They just don’t have the ability to predict the future, unfortunately. But there’s a lot they do know too. Such as?
- They know a lot of people who buy books. They are networked with dozens, even hundreds, of key customers around the world who often buy in significant quantities.
- They know lots of folks in the media. They know which radio and TV stations, which newspapers and blogs are interested in what kinds of books–and what kind they are not interested in.
- They know that ads aren’t necessarily the first place you should put your promotion dollars. Advertising is often what people think of first as a way to help sell a book because of its visibility. But for many kinds of books there are lots of other ways to sell books better and less expensively. A creative publisher will know how.
- They know how to make books better. Having worked with hundreds of authors and manuscripts, they have expertise in making books more readable, convincing and effective.
- They know what categories of books do well for them and what genres don’t tend to work for them. Not every publisher can be successful with every kind of book. Smart publishers know which are right for them and which aren’t.
Publishing is both art and science. Always has been. I’m sure it always will be.