Sunday, July 29, 2007

Call for Entries: J.K. Rowling Open Book Tour Sweepstakes

Scholastic has launched J.K. Rowling and the Open Book Tour Sweepstakes on July 30, 2007. One thousand lucky fans will be selected in a sweepstakes and will receive a pair of tickets to an evening with J.K. Rowling at Carnegie Hall on Friday, October 19th at 7 p.m. Rowling will read from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series, answer questions about the entire series, and sign copies of her latest book. (Please note that if a winner is under the age of 18, the winner must bring his/her parent or legal guardian as the guest. Additionally, no one under 7 years of age will be admitted to the event.)

Starting July 30th, U.S. fans (ages 7 and older) can enter the sweepstakes* by printing out and completing an entry form available at or by printing their name, home address and phone number on a sheet of paper and mailing the entry to:

Attn: J.K. Rowling and the Open Book Tour Sweepstakes
557 Broadway New York, NY 10012

Entries must be received by August 31, 2007. (Please remember that the rules allow only ONE ENTRY PER PERSON; multiple entries will be disqualified.) One thousand lucky winners will be selected by a random drawing and winners will be notified on or about September 14, 2007. The complete rules are attached and available at

The J.K. Rowling Open Book Tour will include three events to be held for schoolchildren in Los Angeles, New Orleans and New York City, in addition to the event at Carnegie Hall for sweepstakes winners. School districts in the host cities will select which schools and which children will participate. (Please note there are no public tickets available for these school events.)

First Book Ever Written Using Mobile Phone is Published

Italian author Robert Bernocco has amazed the literary world by publishing the world's first book written using a mobile phone. Bernocco published it on, the online marketplace for digital content.

Cristel Lee Leed, European Vice President at, says, "We live in an age when individuals are strapped for time due to work and family commitments, and this can often stifle creativity. Robert Bernocco is a great example of the type of author we often encounter on Lulu -- he has not only been creative with what he has written but also with how he has written it!"

Bernocco took advantage of his idle time while commuting to and from work by train, writing his 384-page science fiction novel, Compagni di Viaggo (Fellow Travelers is the English translation), on his Nokia 6630 phone, using the phone's T9 typing system.

By dividing his manuscript into short paragraphs, Mr. Bernocco wrote his novel in perfect Italian, not your typical text-message shorthand, and saved the paragraphs on his mobile phone. Mr. Bernocco then downloaded them onto his home computer for proofreading and editing. The book took him 17 weeks to write.

"Only a few years ago I would have struggled to find both the time and the publisher to enable me to create this book," says Bernocco. "Thanks to my Nokia and Lulu, I am now proud to be a published author."

Robert Bernocco works in the IT industry in Piedmont, northern Italy. He lives near Cuneo, Italy with his wife and son. His book, which is a science fiction novel set in the future, can be found at:

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Make Publishing History

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling's seventh and final Harry Potter book, published in the U.S. by Scholastic, hit bookstores nationwide at 12:01 a.m. on July 21, 2007 and once again Harry Potter made history. Reports estimate that Scholastic broke all publishing records, selling an unprecedented 8.3 million copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in its first 24 hours on sale.

Scholastic announced a record breaking first printing of 12 million copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and retailers reported fast-paced pre-sales leading up to the release date.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling's sixth Harry Potter book, was released on July 16, 2005, with a first printing of 10.8 million copies. At the time, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was the fastest- selling book in history, selling 6.9 million copies in the first 24 hours. All six Harry Potter books, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince have been number one bestsellers in the United States, the U.K., and around the world. The American editions of the Harry Potter books are published under Scholastic's Arthur A. Levine imprint.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Demise of Harry Potter Series Great for Authors

Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who plays Harry Potter in all those blockbuster movies based on J.K. Rowling's books, says he's probably the only person in the world who's happy to see the series end. Laine Cunningham, a fifteen-year veteran of the publishing industry, says the demise of Harry Potter is also great news for authors. Authors wanting to take advantage of the opportunity can visit her website for information on the supporting materials they'll need to prove that their work is marketable.

"A quality manuscript is just the first step," Cunningham says. "Authors also need to present themselves to agents and publishers as savvy professionals. They also need to know which agents and publishers take the kind of work they write."

Creating a strong book proposal should be an author's first priority after the manuscript is written. While most writers are familiar with the query letter, the book proposal provides agents and publishers with an in-depth look at the author, the work, and the author's long-term goals. A standard proposal contains ten to twelve different sections and can be confusing to anyone who's unfamiliar with the industry. A description of the different sections of a proposal can be found at Writer's Resource.

"It's all about building a career," Cunningham says. "Nowadays, publishers want to know that writers are able to help market their own books. It isn't enough to have a great story. You must also have a good platform, an understanding of market trends, and future goals that are in sync with your current project."

Once the proposal is done, writers should carefully research agents and publishers. In addition to locating agencies that take a particular kind of work, the research also helps authors make a match that meets their long-term goals. Since the author-agent relationship is a partnership that can span a life's career, the hours pay off in more than monetary terms.

Of course, getting the best deal is still a concern. For some writers, the timing may be perfect for finally placing their work with a publisher or agent. "The void left in the market is gigantic," Cunningham says. "The sixth Potter story was the fastest-selling book in history, and the series has sold a total of 325 million copies. Publishers are scrambling for something new to offer readers."

Despite the eye-bulging numbers, Cunningham says authors don't have to aim that high to achieve phenomenal success. "Authors with sales equal to one of the Potter books will make any publisher ecstatic. Heck, numbers one one-hundredth of a single J.K. Rowling book are still high performers."

When the magic dust settles and the final body count is tallied, one thing's certain: readers and publishers will be looking for the next big writer to fill the void.

Laine Cunningham is a ghostwriter, editor, and publishing consultant. The work produced through her shop has received attention from top publishers such as Random House, HarperCollins, Ballantine, Penguin-Putnam, Viking, and a host of others. She's written hundreds of articles on writing, publishing and book marketing. TV and radio shows have showcased her industry expertise, and she is a guest speaker for fiction and nonfiction groups around the country.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter 7 Greenest Book in Publishing History

The Harry Potter series has galvanized the world's book industry into going green, from spurring the development of 32 new ecological papers, six for Potter exclusively, to igniting a shift where 300 publishers have adopted environmental policies that are helping to protect Canada's Boreal forest among others, says Markets Initiative, the Vancouver-based environmental group that worked with J.K. Rowling starting in 2003 and hundreds of publishers and paper mills since to turn other books green.

The last book in the Potter series, to be released later this week, is considered within the industry to be the most environmentally friendly in publishing history with 16 countries printing the book on eco-friendly paper up from one publisher in 2003.

"When it comes to green, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is at the top of the book pile," said Nicole Rycroft, executive director of Markets Initiative. "We foresee other publishers and major paper consumers being inspired to take similar action to protect species and forests such as Canada's Boreal."

The English-language editions of the latest book result in a savings of 197,685 trees (an area equivalent to 2.5 times the size of New York's Central Park) and 7.9 million kilograms of greenhouse gases (equivalent to taking 1,577 cars off the road). The book uses the highest standard of eco-friendly paper for the majority of its print runs.

Sarah Nelson, Editor in Chief of Publisher's Weekly, considered the source for publishing and book news in the world, said, "The world of publishing may never see the likes of Harry Potter again, but that doesn't discount its importance to readers, to booksellers and to the way publishing has melded its needs with that of the environment. To think that Potter is the largest print run in history and may have actually helped the planet."

Starting with the first Harry Potter book published on Ancient Forest Friendly paper by one publisher - Canada's Raincoast Books in 2002 - the Potter series has:

- Helped shift 300 publishers around the world, including in Germany, Israel and Australia, to print a growing number of their book titles on eco-friendly papers - books include Margaret Atwood's Blind Assassin and Rohinton Mistry's Family Matters.

- Spurred demand in such a way that mainstream paper companies created six new eco-papers specifically for the Potter titles, such as Cascades' Enviro 100 and Schleipen's RC Volumen. Thirty-two new Ancient Forest Friendly and eco-friendly papers have been produced for book publishers in North America overall, as a result of this shift.

- Triggered 84 printers across North America to stock Ancient Forest Friendly or eco-friendly papers for the first time (printers include Transcontinental and Friesens).


Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Road to Publication Might be Getting a Little Rougher

by Dee Power

Is it getting easier or more difficult for an unpublished writer to get their first book commercially published? We asked nearly 60 literary agents about the outlook for the next generation of authors. Their comments are in quotes.

Agents do not envision a great deal of change on the horizon. They are mildly negative about the next 12 to 24 months. When asked the reasons behind their forecast, the most common responses were:

Industry Consolidation, Changes Within the Publishing Industry Itself
Changes in Book Retailing
Publishers are Becoming More Risk Averse
The Pessimists
The Optimists
The Impact of the National Economy

Industry Consolidation, Changes Within the Publishing Industry Itself

"Editors no longer rely on their instincts and passions as selection criteria; instead they go by such formulas as, Bad Numbers, Author has no Platform etc."

"Continuing consolidation and conglomeration of industry."

"For non-fiction works, in particular, publishers need credentialed writers, which leaves out the many individuals who have great ideas but nothing to back it up. With fiction, they are more likely to take a chance on an unpublished writer IF it is in an area (genre) they are seeking at the time and the writing is passable enough."

Changes in Book Retailing

"Because of the pressure of the chain buyers, publishers are increasingly locked into publishing only the brand new authors with no record, and best selling authors."

"Because as long as the retail market continues to consolidate in the hands of fewer and fewer retailers, the entire industry becomes dependent on the taste of a small handful of 'buyers' who choose which books get shelf space."

Publishers are Becoming More Risk Averse

"It just seems like it's getting harder and harder to get people to take a chance on an unknown."

"Editors are buying fewer books, they are reluctant to take chances."

"What does keep projects from being bought is the fact that lists are shrinking, and in a marketplace in which it's terribly hard to win anyone's attention, from buyers all the way to customers, everyone up the editorial chain is anxious about making the wrong bet more often than not. No is a safe answer."

The Pessimists

"I base this on the number of rejection letters publishers have sent for well-written, well-plotted novels by new authors that would have sold if given the chance."

"I don't see the market picking up much, and if the current trends continue, it will only decline."

The Optimists

"Because I don't agree that the publishing industry is either for or against unpublished writers. They are FOR unpublished writers who have a brilliant first novel to offer or a nonfiction platform. They are AGAINST unpublished writers who are bad writers or (in the case of nonfiction, are not credentialed in their field, have a new original, high concept idea etc.)"

"The Industry is not a monolithic thing. Some genres (nonfiction especially, which more and more requires the author to have a major platform for promotion and media attention) will continue to become more difficult; some genres (upmarket fiction) exalt first-time writers. The "first novel" for literary fiction represents a unique marketing opportunity for the publisher; it's the second and third novels that tend to be far more difficult to publish well if the first novel doesn't take off."

"Some trends favor new writers and new voices, however the money is often discouragingly small, so there is not the sense of a career being launched."

The Impact of the National Economy

"Publishing is an increasingly tough biz in tough times--fewer people read."

So What Can a Debut Author Do?

1) Study the elements of a good query letter.

2) Make your contact letter succinct, positive, but not obnoxious. Stress that you understand the market for your book and how to address that market.

3) Learn what types of manuscripts individual agents are looking for and send yours out to the agents that match up the best with your topic or genre.

4) Don't give up.

Dee Power is the author of several commercially published books. Find out more about her at her website or read her blog.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Harry Potter Charms the Entertainment Industry

With the imminent release of the new Harry Potter movie, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," as well as the upcoming book release on July 21 of the seventh and final installment in the series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," The Nielsen Company has released a multi-dimensional overview into the young wizard's strong impact on the entertainment industry. Here is a unique look at the Harry Potter effect.

-- Book sales (Nielsen BookScan) - Since 1998, when Nielsen began measuring book sales in the United Kingdom, the six Harry Potter books have sold more than 22.5 million copies in the UK alone. In the United States, the Harry Potter titles published after 2001 have sold more than 27.7 million copies.

-- Box Office sales (Nielsen EDI) - Combined, the first four Harry Potter films have grossed more than $3.5 billion worldwide. The first film, "Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone," is the fourth all-time highest grossing film worldwide.

-- Advertising (Nielsen Monitor-Plus) - In the U.S., ad spend for all Harry Potter branded merchandise (including books, movies, DVDs and other promotional products) totals $269.1 million from 1998 to date. Outside of the U.S. from 2000 to date, $119.3 million was spent on total advertising for all Harry Potter branded merchandise in Canada, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland, and the U.K.

-- DVD/Video sales (Nielsen VideoScan) -All three Harry Potter DVDs/Videos - Sorcerer's Stone, Chamber of Secrets, and Prisoner of Azkaban - debuted at #1 and remained the #1 family film for the first 3 weeks of each release.

-- Internet Traffic (Nielsen//NetRatings) - The Warner Bros. "Harry Potter Order of the Phoenix" Web site drew 446,762 unique visitors in May 2007.

-- Internet Buzz (Nielsen BuzzMetrics) - On blogs, the final book "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," is generating more "buzz" than the latest movie installment, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."

-- Music sales (Nielsen SoundScan) - The four Harry Potter soundtracks combined have sold more than 1.1 million copies in the U.S. and almost 100,000 copies in Canada since the initial release back in October 2001. There have been a total of 180,000 downloads of individual songs that tied to the four Harry Potter soundtracks.

-- TV ratings (Nielsen Media Research) - Since 2002, the Harry Potter movies have aired on U.S. television a total of 366 times.

-- Moviegoer Profile (Nielsen Cinema) - A recent survey of moviegoers shows 51% of persons age 12+ are aware that the new book is coming out next month. Twenty-eight percent of persons 12+ in the U.S. have read one or more of the previous Harry Potter books, and 15% have read all of the Harry Potter books-to-date.

-- Consumer (ACNielsen) - More than $11.8 million has been spent by U.S. consumers on Harry Potter-licensed trademark cookies, candy and gum products since June 2002.

Books (Nielsen BookScan)

In the United Kingdom alone, more than 22.5 million copies of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books have walked off the shelves since 1998, when Nielsen BookScan began measuring books sales in the UK and six of the top ten best-selling books during this period have been Harry Potter books. In the United States, the Harry Potter titles published after 2001, the first year of the U.S. Nielsen BookScan panel, have sold more than 27.7 million copies. During that period, three of the top ten best-selling books in the U.S. have been Harry Potter books.

In all territories where Nielsen BookScan monitors book sales data, peak sales of Harry Potter titles consistently coincide with launch of the new hardback editions and continue to break records. In 2005, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince jumped out of the starting gate with 1.87 million copies sold in the first day in the UK and 4.1 million copies sold the first day in the U.S. (both countries include pre-orders). Similarly, nearly 1.7 million copies of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix were sold on its 2003 release date in the UK, accounting for nearly 50% of the book's total first year sales in that country.

The greatest peak in sales of Harry Potter books took place in 2003, when sales in the UK accounted for fully 22% of the Children's market for the year, while sales in Australia took 19% of the Children's market and generated Aus$30.5 million in revenue for the year. This trend was largely due to the long delay in the release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This was also the first new title to be released following the launch of the first Harry Potter film in November 2001, which helped catalyze a large increase in sales of the backlist titles as people caught up with the series.

The second largest sales peak for Harry Potter titles was in 2005, except in Ireland (ROI) and China, where 2005 sales surpassed 2003 sales as news of Harry Potter spread across the globe.

2006 saw a slowdown in sales, with the annual sales of Harry Potter titles being at their lowest since 1999 in the UK. This trend is indicative of people waiting for the launch of the final hardback edition later this month.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Harper Collins Runs Video Competition for Author Georgia Nicolson's Newest Book

To celebrate the launch of the new book Luuurve is a Many Trousered Thing, from the best selling Georgia Nicolson series written by the sharp-witted and hilarious author Louise Rennison, Harper Collins are running a fantastic competition on Georgia's website,

Readers and fans can win an iPod Nano with speakers or runners-up prizes from Nails Inc by uploading a video of themselves doing a short disco dance -- a common theme throughout the massively popular series of Georgina books referred to as the 'Viking Disco Inferno'.

All videos are to be judged by Louise herself and, on 1st August 2007, the top 25 videos will be posted on the official website. Online visitors are invited to grade each video with a maximum of five stars, with the top rated entries winning the prizes.

All videos must be uploaded by Thursday 19th July, voting ends 10th August and the winners are announced on 15th August.

This competition is currently being promoted with banners and advertorials across MSN, MyKindaPlace and MySpace at

Try your luck here:

Why Indie Bookstores Matter Tour

Larry Portzline, the founder of the grassroots "Bookstore Tourism" movement (, announced today that he will embark on a 10-week cross-country road trip called The "Why Indie Bookstores Matter" Tour to raise consumer awareness of independent bookstores and celebrate the indie spirit.

Portzline plans to visit at least 200 locally owned bookshops in all 50 states. He'll drive across the continental U.S. and fly to Alaska and Hawaii to complete the trip.

At each bookstore, Portzline will interview owners, booksellers and customers and ask: "Why do indie bookstores matter?" He'll post updates, pictures and podcasts on the tour's blog, and at the conclusion of his journey he plans to author a book about the adventure.

"What better way is there to understand the independent spirit of this country than by visiting its independent bookstores?" Portzline asked. "Indie bookshops are a thousand other things besides retail establishments -- they're gathering places for the community, cultural centers, promoters of reading and literacy, storehouses of knowledge, defenders of free speech, you name it."

Portzline noted that many communities around the country are rediscovering the value of local businesses. They're hoping to attract unique "mom and pop" stores, including bookshops, back to their downtowns to counter the "suburban sameness" and "big box ubiquity" that has encroached on the American landscape over the past few decades, he said.

"Numerous studies have shown that revenue from independent business stays in the local economy much longer than revenue from national chain stores," he said. "So part of the reason for this tour is to remind consumers and local governments that they really can choose who they want their hard-earned dollars to support. In fact, book lovers may want to start asking themselves, 'Where does the money go when I buy this book? Is it transferred electronically into a corporate account three states away? Or does it stay here in my hometown?'"

Portzline said he chose "Independence Week" to announce the Why Indie Bookstores Matter Tour. He pointed out that his planned departure date coincides with another observance: April 1, 2008. "April Fool's Day seems appropriate for something a little Quixotic like a cross-country trip to support indie booksellers," he explained.

In the meantime, he'll seek sponsorship to help defray the cost of the trip and ask visitors to his blog to suggest specific bookstores for his itinerary. He's also inviting fans to make a donation and ride along with him for a day or two. "We won't have luxury accommodations, but it'll be a ridiculous amount of fun," he said. The national tour is merely a variation on the group "bookstore road trips" that he and others have led around the U.S. as part of the Bookstore Tourism movement, he noted. "Except instead of a luxury motorcoach, we're taking my minivan. And I get the final say on the music choices."

Organizations and individuals who are interested in co-sponsoring the trip or making a donation can visit the tour website at for more information

Sunday, July 1, 2007

How to Make Money with Your Book

by Sophfronia Scott, "The Book Sistah"

Writing, publishing and marketing a book can be a tremendous investment of time and money--so much so that many aspiring authors won't embark on the journey until it's clear they will get something (preferably dollars) out of it. Trouble is, they don't know how to make money with a book beyond the traditional model of "sell book, get paid a royalty". Royalties can be slim pickings, sometimes just 7 percent of the book's retail price. If you're looking to make more you'll have to think of your book as not just a book--you'll have to have a bigger picture in mind.

Does Your Topic Have Moneymaking Potential?

Be honest. Do others want what you have to offer? If your book is a memoir, for instance, with stories that only your family members can truly appreciate, there won't be a big market for it. However if your memoir is a harrowing tale of recovery, that's different. Others would want to read it and connect it to their own experience in one way or another.

You'll want to think the same way about your fiction or non-fiction book. What's selling in the stores right now? Can you make such a connection? Can your book tie into a current wave of popularity (Chick lit.? Business leadership? Current events?) Or is your book different, but so totally out of the box that you can grab some attention for it? The clearer you can be with nailing down a market for your book, the easier your job will be.

Sell It In Bulk

Why sell one book at a time when you can just as easily sell 25, 50, 100 or more all at once? Think about getting a company or a group to make a volume purchase. Support groups might want all their members to have your recovery memoir; churches might be interested in passing on inspirational works to their congregations; businesses certainly are in need of free gifts for their customers. Do a little research and find out what possibilities exist for your book.

Use Your Book in Your Business

If you're an entrepreneur, a book can be an excellent lead generator. It's a way to reach customers who may not have found you through your usual marketing strategies. You'll see this technique at work in books such as "Secrets of the Millionaire Mind" and "No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs". These books offer invitations to free seminars, coupons for free gifts, contests, free trial subscriptions to newsletters. The authors of these books understand that while they'll make a little money from selling the book, the real funds will flow from turning the customer into a purchaser of their higher end products.

Use Your Book to Pursue Job Opportunities

If you're not an entrepreneur, you can still earn financial benefits from your book in non-direct ways. Think of it like this: your book becomes your business. You use it to attract speaking engagements, teaching gigs, or even consulting work. You could develop a workshop around your book. Many of the teachers in continuing education programs such as those offered through The Learning Annex ( are authors who have done just that. If you're in the corporate world, think of this: few people get to walk around with the word "author" on their resume, so it's sure to stand out when you're hunting for your next job. In fact, it may bring you better offers!

Prepare Your Plan of Action

If you've been putting off starting your book because you're not sure if there's money in it, then do your research. Take a few of these ideas, or use them to think up new possibilities, and map out how you could make money with your book. If the numbers look good, print them up, post them near your computer screen and let the vision of those potential dollars inspire you to your book's conclusion.

About the Author
Sophfronia Scott is "The Book Sistah" TM. Get her FREE REPORT, "The 5 Big Mistakes Most Writers Make When Trying to Get Published" and her FREE online writing and book publishing tips at

What your publisher doesn't tell you about the business of publishing

by Samantha Tang

Aspiring authors are always eager for that opportunity of a lifetime in getting their work published by established book publishers. Striving to produce an entirely unique and original piece of work, they end up disappointed when they are rejected again, and again.

It's not that their work is no good. It's not because of their incompetence. It's not that they are not good writers.

It's because they presented a product which the publisher felt did not have a demand. It's because their work fail to meet the needs of the market. It's because the publishers do not see the profits that their book could bring to the company. At the end of it all, book publishing is a business, and making profits is a publisher's primary objective. While artistic creativity and uniqueness do play a part in making you stand out from the crowd, it's the sale potential of your book that counts.

There is also the question of royalties. Most authors get a meager 5 - 10% of royalties for their work. Everyone claims that this is a small amount to earn in exchange for their intellectual property, and their efforts in churning out an excellent manuscript. While publishers are often blamed for being a scrooge with their royalties, the truth is that they bear the most risks in this business. In addition to publishing costs, there is also an entire chain of book distribution costs that are borne by publishers.

When a publisher decides to publish a book, they bear the costs of preparing the book for print - editing, typesetting, printing. All these cost money, and the publishers stand to lose their investment on a particular book should it perform below expectations. This is why they exercise caution when selecting their manuscripts. Another type of cost that publishers need to bear is the commissions given to book wholesalers, distributors and bookstores, in return for their services in getting a book distributed across the country, or the world. Distribution costs range from 50% to 60% of the retail price. That is, if the book gets sold.

Oh, and bookstores usually sell books on a risk-free, returnable and refundable basis. If a book does not sell well within just a few short months, they are duly returned to the publisher. Sometimes, publishers may work out a discount for their books at the bookstore, before having them returned. Also, hardcover books are usually returned to the publisher, but paperbacks get only their covers stripped from the book and returned. The publisher now has to figure out ways to clear the excess inventory, or suffer the consequences of bearing inventory costs. Publishers then do what needs to be done - sell these book titles at rock-bottom prices to remainder houses. This could mean $1 for a book that had previously been selling for $15.99.

These companies purchase non-performing books at a very low cost, and resell them for bargain prices at bargain book fairs. Sometimes, they even sell them back to the bookstores for a profit. Selling a book for $3 each at a cost of $1 is already a 200% profit. Otherwise, they may run a mail-order campaign and sell them directly to consumers. If all else fails, whatever's left is recycled. It's a sad story for an author to see all that hard work ending up being pulp. That's the cold hard truth about publishing that most people don't see.

Sometimes, it's not entirely the author's fault. Working with the wrong publisher means that inadequate publicity and marketing work is generated for the book. Naturally, if no one knows about your book, you'd probably not sell too many copies.

That's why, many have turned to self-publishing, or writing and marketing their own work. Authors have more control over their marketing campaigns. They are able to make a decision on pulping a book or not. Sometimes, it may be better to just give them away, than to get them recycled. Authors are able to work harder to create the publicity, or hire a publicist to do the job for them. The downside to this would be the costs involved in getting self-published. In the end, it's all about the ultimate objective of the author - Is the author getting published for recognition? Is the book a complement to his other products? Will getting a book out launch new opportunities for the author? If these are all true, then self-publishing would be a worthwhile venture to invest in.

About the Author
Samantha Tang, previously a Managing Editor for a publishing company, published 7 books within a short span of 2 years. An avid marketer, she ran events and implemented intensive book marketing strategies to get these books to the local bestseller list several times in a row. She now shares her experiences at, a book marketing strategy resource site.