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Producer Stew?


Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock directing Family Plot (1975). Photo by Stan Osborne. Wikimedia Commons.

Once anyone decides to write a book, they are confronted with many decisions. Believe it or not, writing a book is easy (you can always get a ghost writer). However, everything else associated with it requires a lot of thought and planning. Why? Because the typical writer has limited resources and there are many ways he or she can spend their money (beyond the actual cost of publishing the book).

The big money its in publishing (and the most mysterious to self-publishing authors) are the distribution and marketing components (they go hand-in-hand). In other words, now that you have boxes of books in your garage (or even just an ePub version), how are you going to sell your book and make any money? Frankly, there are so many avenues an author can go down that it becomes overwhelming. It’s also one of those components of publishing a book where the author must push all their chips onto the table. So it becomes an exercise in determining where the greatest return-on-assets (ROI) will be achieved.

Out of the blue, I was asked by a local public television access channel to produce a 10-episode television series based on the first 4 walking tour books (French Revolution–two volumes, Medieval Paris, and the Nazi Occupation of Paris). At the same time, I’m confronted with doing ePub conversions of the books for Amazon Kindle, Apple’s iBooks, and Barnes & Noble’s Nook. Oh, and then there’s developing an app for the walking tours. What about hiring someone to get the books into the book catalogues that retailers use to purchase books for their shelves? What about the choice of different distribution channels such as big box retailers, small independent book stores, libraries, or even the bookstore at the airports that are gateways to Paris? So what does one choose to do when their stack of chips is only so high? I know what I’m going to do. Read More Producer Stew?