Filed under: Promotion, Publishing.
I was asked at the Canadian Book Summit yesterday if I could change one thing about what my publishers do, what would that be? A better answer than the one I gave has occurred to me: Give the author more free copies to distribute for promotional purposes. (Believe it or not, boilerplate contracts from most publishers specify that authors get just ten copies of their own books.)
Yes, I know I can ask my publisher to send out a review copy, and hope they actually do it, but in addition please give us a couple of dozen copies to spread around as we see fit.
I first made the major Canadian bestsellers lists (The Globe and Mail and Maclean’s) a decade ago, back in 2000, because Carolyn ran into Toronto Star religion editor Tom Harpur at a conference and had the presence of mind to hand him a copy of my book Calculating God then and there from my personal stock. The Star is the largest-circulation newspaper in Canada, and Harpur’s subsequent article about the book without question is what boosted my novel onto the best-sellers list.
Trust your authors to effectively distribute the extra copies to their influential contacts or even to long-shots that might pan out. An extra 24 hardcover, at manufacturing cost, even with shipping, will cost the publisher maybe $100; how can it not be cost-effective to do this?