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tuttigym
tuttigym
Joined: Feb 12, 2010
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February 12th, 2010 at 2:12:39 PM permalink
Books on gambling in general and specific games such as Hold 'em, Craps, Roulette etc. are available at various venues from book stores to web sites.

Such books are considered niche books and have limited appeal to the general book buying public. When a new book comes out and is made available, what would be the most effective way to generate interest and sales? Complimentary books would be available for review, so who would get those comp. volumes for review? Where would the author or publisher invest the advertising dollars to gain interest in the book and create a high volume of sales in the gambling community?

What other avenues are available to generate sales?

Comments please.

tuttigym
Wizard
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Wizard
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February 12th, 2010 at 2:47:13 PM permalink
Having published my own book, which did pretty poorly in sales, I can offer the following comments.

People DO judge a book by its cover. Especially the author's name. People tend to not buy books by people they have never heard of.

It is largely up to the publisher how hard to push your book. That is something you won't have much control over. For example, I have yet to see my book on a bookstore shelf, other than bookstores that specialize in gambling books. Thus, the low sales do not surprise me.

Offer the book for free to anyone who might write a review of it. A good start would be to search for sites that review gambling books, like mine.

I think an unknown name should view publishing a book more as a feather in the cap than for money-making reasons. I've heard one criteria to get a Wikipedia page is to be a published author.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
tuttigym
tuttigym
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February 12th, 2010 at 3:25:14 PM permalink
Thanks for the good advice. Hopefully more knowledgable folks will jump in.

tuttigym
tuttigym
tuttigym
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March 13th, 2010 at 4:00:22 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

It is largely up to the publisher how hard to push your book. That is something you won't have much control over. For example, I have yet to see my book on a bookstore shelf, other than bookstores that specialize in gambling books. Thus, the low sales do not surprise me.



Are you saying that you had no feedback into the marketing of your book? Did you ever have any specific advertising that targeted gambling markets? Did you invest funds specifically in the marketing w/o the publisher? Did you critique the publisher's marketing strategy? What kind of reviews did it receive? Could you have revised the volume to make it more appealing? With possibly thousands of potential customers from this site and the other sites, why such "low" sales?

It seems like you did not control the destiny of your work. Did the publisher give you an advance against future royalties so that the marketing made no difference to the possible outcome of sales?

tuttigym
NicksGamingStuff
NicksGamingStuff
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March 14th, 2010 at 7:31:02 AM permalink
Hey mr wizard I bought your book as an ebook from shoplva ! To the other guy ebooks are great becase they are cheap and people like meblove reading on their computer and if I was a hippie I would say it saves paper the environment and all that other bs
boymimbo
boymimbo
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March 14th, 2010 at 7:58:36 AM permalink
Quote: tuttigym

Quote: Wizard

It is largely up to the publisher how hard to push your book. That is something you won't have much control over. For example, I have yet to see my book on a bookstore shelf, other than bookstores that specialize in gambling books. Thus, the low sales do not surprise me.



Are you saying that you had no feedback into the marketing of your book? Did you ever have any specific advertising that targeted gambling markets? Did you invest funds specifically in the marketing w/o the publisher? Did you critique the publisher's marketing strategy? What kind of reviews did it receive? Could you have revised the volume to make it more appealing? With possibly thousands of potential customers from this site and the other sites, why such "low" sales?

It seems like you did not control the destiny of your work. Did the publisher give you an advance against future royalties so that the marketing made no difference to the possible outcome of sales?

tuttigym



I've been through the book marketing process. For some reasons I attract writers into my life. When you are a first-time author, you prepare your own marketing kit (very professional, 20-30 pages) and send that material as well as an early draft of the book itself to publishers for review. If the publishers like your material, they will contact you (eventually) and will make you an offer (which you negotiate) to publish your book based on the quality of the material. You may get an advance to complete the book, or they may offer you nothing until the material is complete. The advance is subtracted from your royalties. The size of the advance will be predicated based on their experience with selling books of the same type before and the quality of the material. They know that they cannot recover the advance so they will only offer as much of an advance as they are certain they will recover.

Authors normally have absolutely no control of the material once it gets into the publisher's hands, and you must supply the publisher with a final copy of your book by the deadline specified in the contract. You then go through a very rigorous editing process with the publisher. All of your rights (very few) and all of their rights (very many) are spelled out in the contract you sign. Since you are an author, the publisher will market your book, control its publication date, figure out how many copies it will print and how it will sell the book. It is their dime and their reputation on the line after all and they have about a million times more experience than any individual author. Even if your book makes it to a bookshelf, you may see between 10-20% of the selling price of the book as your royalty.

If you want to get your book individually published however, you can simply put it together in your preferred format, and market it online yourself. My wife has been successful in that way selling via EBay to a very small, niche market. I would not go with a simple format however that can be copied and distributed freely. I would actually wait for payment and send physical copies of your "book". You can sell it for much less than a publisher and can control the marketing process and deliver better value to the customer that way, though you won't sell as many books.

Good luck.
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
stephen
stephen
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March 14th, 2010 at 8:55:57 AM permalink
Quote: boymimbo

If you want to get your book individually published however, you can simply put it together in your preferred format, and market it online yourself. My wife has been successful in that way selling via EBay to a very small, niche market. I would not go with a simple format however that can be copied and distributed freely. I would actually wait for payment and send physical copies of your "book". You can sell it for much less than a publisher and can control the marketing process and deliver better value to the customer that way, though you won't sell as many books.



Interesting. As an aside, has your wife (or any of the other authors you have worked with) tried the print-on-demand services out there such as lulu.com?
Wizard
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Wizard
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March 14th, 2010 at 2:36:27 PM permalink
Quote: tuttigym


Are you saying that you had no feedback into the marketing of your book? Did you ever have any specific advertising that targeted gambling markets? Did you invest funds specifically in the marketing w/o the publisher? Did you critique the publisher's marketing strategy? What kind of reviews did it receive? Could you have revised the volume to make it more appealing? With possibly thousands of potential customers from this site and the other sites, why such "low" sales?

It seems like you did not control the destiny of your work. Did the publisher give you an advance against future royalties so that the marketing made no difference to the possible outcome of sales?




When my book was first published my publisher, Huntington Press, and I had conversations about how the book would be marketed. However, I think it came out at a bad time, and they had bigger things on their minds than my book. I did not have any leverage to get them to do much. They probably wanted to feel out initial sales before deciding on how hard to market the book, and initial sales did not go well.

If I wanted to invest my own money to push the book that probably could have been done, but nobody ever raised the idea. I don't want to blame the poor sales entirely on the publisher. There are dozens of other similar books, so I was fighting for a piece of a very crowded market. No, I did not get an advance. I think you need to be pretty big to get one of those. Struggling authors are lucky to find a publisher at all. Every other publisher of gambling books rejected my manuscript, and they knew it, so I had little bargaining power in the terms. I was happy to be published at all, and still am.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
boymimbo
boymimbo
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March 14th, 2010 at 5:48:34 PM permalink
Quote: stephen

Interesting. As an aside, has your wife (or any of the other authors you have worked with) tried the print-on-demand services out there such as lulu.com?



Nope. I'll have her check it out next time she has something to sell.
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
boymimbo
boymimbo
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March 14th, 2010 at 8:17:11 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard


If I wanted to invest my own money to push the book that probably could have been done, but nobody ever raised the idea. I don't want to blame the poor sales entirely on the publisher. There are dozens of other similar books, so I was fighting for a piece of a very crowded market. No, I did not get an advance. I think you need to be pretty big to get one of those. Struggling authors are lucky to find a publisher at all. Every other publisher of gambling books rejected my manuscript, and they knew it, so I had little bargaining power in the terms. I was happy to be published at all, and still am.



My wife back was a technical writer back in the 90s and was hired to write some of the "Idiot's guide" series books. In those cases, they pay you a flat rate with no royalties.

It took about 80 attempts to find a publisher for my friend's 'medical' book. She did get an advance, and she only had one suitor as well. The book was on a very popular topic and the market for these books, like the gambling market, is pretty well saturated. I am not sure how well the book actually did.

My feeling is that if you do embark on a career in writing (or anything for that matter), you would do it for the love of the craft or the love of the subject, not for the money. If you want to make money in writing, try journalism instead. Otherwise, I think there is a great deal of luck involved... (kind of like gambling).
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!

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