What They Think They Know About Books

Posted by Sherrie Wilkolaski
Published On Sep 27, 2014

by Amy Collins

I get calls all the time from people who “know” the book publishing industry.  They have written a book and have been avid readers for years… so they assume that they are the key demographic and what they know is fact.

More often than not, what they “know” is old news.  Now I assume that no one reading this falls into this category, but perhaps we can pass this info onto the others…

1191434 75505845 resized 600So, once again:

  1. Hardcovers no longer are the standard for “serious” books and are rarely purchased
  2. POD has become more acceptable to bookstores, but you still need to print some and offer them through traditional distribution or fulfillment companies to be taken seriously by the bookstores.
  3. Digital Printing has improved in quality and you do NOT need to print thousands of books.
  4. There are even fewer print and online reviewers of consequence but…
  5. Reviews are still KEY.  Most libraries and major book chains need professional reviews before they will consider a small press title in any real quantity.
  6. Libraries and bookstores are not necessarily the best way to get to readers anymore
  7. Most books are not sold in bookstores
  8. eBooks have taken a much bigger portion of book sales
  9. There are MORE readers now than there were a year ago THANKS to eBook readers
  10. Inexpensive eBooks are the best way to get your book out to the most people and create a buzz.  It does not “cheapen the book, it gives the reader a chance to sample something they would not otherwise because of a special offer. (Depending on your book recommend pricing it $3.99-7.99 for fiction and $4.99-$9.99 for non-fiction.)


Amy Collins MacGregor started her career in the book industry as the book buyer for Village Green Books in Upstate, New York. In 1996, she “hopped the desk” and thoroughly enjoyed working as a National Account Rep for Prima Publishing.  In 2001, Amy was named Director of Sales at Adams Media in Boston and quickly rose to the Special Sales Director for parent company, F+W Media.  Over the years, Amy has sold to Borders, Barnes and Noble, Target, Costco, Wal-mart, and all the major chains as well as help launch several private label publishing programs for chains such as PetSmart and CVS. In February 2006, Amy started The Cadence Group and now runs the fastest-growing book distribution company in North America, New Shelves Distribution, where she offers her sales experience to small publishers and self-published authors.

Image courtesy of guillermo ossa.

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