Thursday, November 09, 2006

Colour me clueless

Now I enjoy reading Isabel Swift's blog. I have done ever since I first discovered on e-harlequin when she first started. I read her blog on iBoAS and did not think anything of it. Another Mira author that I would haveto remember to check out at some point. New book out, that sort of thing.
I had not realised it was a v classy response to an indiscrete interview. This I discovered when I read MJ Rose's marketing blog -- a blog well worth reading for its advice on marketing.

Personally I do not agree with what Anne Stuart did. It is never ever good business to rubbish your publishers -- past or present. Isabel's post shows why I hold her in such high esteem. Anyway, Anne Stuart made the best seller list after 32 years in the business and making some highly dubious business decisions (and I believe made it BEFORE the interview condemning MIRA was posted)..
My big takeaway is NEVER EVER post something when you are angry or upset about things. You never know what is around the corner.
Equally learn as much as you can about how publishing works. Initial print runs don't matter as much as sell-through and reprints. You want your book to have LEGS!

It does bother me though that some authors think selling books is not like selling chewing gum, corn flakes or other consumer products. The laws of marketing (like the forces of nature) stay the same whatever product you choose. Books are not like selling grain, computer chips, oil or other interchangeable commodities. There again, it is probably my econ background showing. I find numbers, sale-through ratios fascinating stuff. I like to know what makes a business tick.

PR and marketing is great fun. And as I have in no way, shape or form mastered it, a source of endless fascination. BUT I also have a wip to complete before Christmas and am at a rather exciting bit...


Susan Rix said...

Wow, Michelle. Thanks for drawing my attention to this. I've spent a very interesting 30 mins going from link to link.

That is some great advice you give, 'NEVER EVER post something when you are angry of upset...'.

As soon as I've finished my first draft of my (first ever completed) manuscript, I'm going to invest some time trying to get a grasp of the publishing side of the business - and (hopefully) learn from others' mistakes.

*sigh* So much to learn...

Glad your Victorian Christmas is coming along well.

Sue :-)

Anonymous said...

Definitely agree with never posting anything when you're angry or upset! But Anne Stuart's one of my favourite authors so I'll forgive her. I'm addicted to her writing and her heroes. The Devil's Waltz is out in historicals this month and it's brilliant. I finished it already :-( and I'm going to have to read it again. Christian Montcalm mmmm.

Looking forward to reading your wip :-)


juliemt said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
juliemt said...

I have read the interview and I was shocked by her comments with regards to MIRA and her other publishers. She made a comment on another website about how she's been writing for centuries - well if that is the case then she should certainly know better!

And MIRA seem to know what they are doing as if it wasn't for them then she couldn't call herself a NYT bestelling author!

Michelle Styles said...

I am glad you all enjoyed it.

And yes, I do believe having been published for 32 years, she should have learnt how to handle the media...

When you are first starting out, you focus so much on selling and then you do. And it is a whole other world out there. MJ Rose's blog and now Kate Allan's new blog --
can help.

Jessica Raymond said...

Thanks for blogging about this, Michelle. Like Sue, I've just been link-hopping to read the whole story. Makes for an interesting read! I won Anne Stuart's "Black Ice" in Brenda Novak's last diabetes auction but I haven't got round to reading it yet.

Jess x