Dear BookBiz Santa,
- Please give us sales numbers we can actually understand. Make royalty statements as clear as possible re: HOW MANY BOOKS we have actually SOLD.
- In the same vein, it would be nice to know more often than every 6 months how we’re doing sales-wise. And no, not just Bookscan numbers, which can at times report only up to 60% of our sales.
- We’re not crazy, please don’t treat us as if we are. If we seem upset at times, consider that this might have something to do with being in a career where we have very little control over whether our books are accepted, edited, publicized, distributed, promoted, reviewed or bought. We can work on a book for five years and the publisher can make decisions that will effectively kill it in five minutes. This tends to make the author a little tense.
- We know that every editor shepherds about 150 novels a year but each author only writes one. So when it comes out, could you think about picking up the phone and congratulating us? Or heaven forbid sending flowers. Or a bottle of the bubbly. (And thank you to those of us who already do this!)
- To you it’s just one more book, to us it’s about three years of work. We need to feel valued. We’re sorry that the money we were paid on signing doesn’t hold us over emotionally all year long. Writers can only write when they are emotionally full, so feed us please? If you like a story, let us know.
- Please don’t tell us that you are going to base your marketing efforts on how many Facebook fans or Twitter followers we have. The way those sites work – ony 20%- 30% of the people who have signed up to our pages or who follow even see our posts/tweets.
- Can we stop with the lies? No lies of omission. No lies of commission. Do not lie to us about how many ARC’s you are sending out. Do not lie to us about how many books you are shipping. Do not lie to us about running ads.
- We are people. We get hurt. We bleed. We cry. We scream. It’s our one and only career. Please give us a chance to help it along.
- Can you lower the amount of promotional money you use on the brand name writers? They’re already bestsellers, and they’ll continue to be bestsellers without the million dollar publicity campaigns. Could you throw some of that money to us?
- Isn’t it about time to end returns? Stripping and remaindering books is one of the stupidest practices in retail. Shelf times are becoming shorter, there’s no incentive to sell books from either the bookstore or the publisher sales reps, and the amount of money wasted is staggering.
- Can you keep us in the loop of how our book is doing? We have a vested interest in its success, and we can do more to help it succeed than you might think.
- And last but certainly not least…
M.J. …and more than twenty authors
What’s on your Dear BookBiz Santa list?
Photos courtesy Flickr’s katerha, and M.J. Rose and Santa