Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Open Letter to an Anonymous Author (1 of 3)

(not the author, or her book; just using it to illustrate my point)

Dear Author,

Someone’s published your book, but what you know about the bookselling business?  And as much as it’s a calling, it’s also a business, one which generated 2.3 billion dollars in sales in August (that’s right, this dying business produced a measly 2.3 billion in sales during the slowest month of the year).

But this isn’t about sales; it’s about knowing your place.  You scheduled a launch and asked us to handle the book sales.  Apart from self-promotion, your job is done.  Show up the night of the event, talk, smile, charm, answer questions, and sign – that’s it.  Leave the bookselling to professionals who know what we’re doing.

For twenty-eight years, Books & Books has worked events.  Every event can’t be a homerun, but we always bring the pages for folks to turn.  Did it ever occur to you that the publisher and the bookstore did not provide certain information because, frankly, it’s none of your business?  Worry yourself to pieces all you want, if it’s your nature, but to approach another bookseller once you've made an agreement with us?  That's just wrong.  

Every day is a marathon, and the precious energy we wasted on you and your book could have been spent on someone else.  Someone who knows enough to trust the pros. 

Don't mess with the people deciding whether to stock your book. 


Pissed Off in the Buying Office


  1. Nah, just one bad author.

    Let's do lunch. I'll give you the whole low down.