Director’s Desk:
Publishing Lessons Learned the Hard Way

November 2004
by Jan Nathan, Executive Director, PMA

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Have you ever thought, “If I could do it all over again, I’d…”? I know I have. We asked our members this question recently, since we recognize that lessons learned the hard way seem never to be forgotten, and we got the following replies.

From Carol Friedman at Dominick Media in New York:

As a first-time publisher, be aware that you are pretty much like a high-school kid without a date for the prom, vulnerable–dress or tux in hand–and wanting to attend the prom by any means necessary. The prom pitfall caused me to choose the wrong distributor and the wrong printer. These misguided decisions, due solely to my inexperience, caused me to miss my planned release date–after I had paid fees to an expensive PR firm–and cost me many thousands of dollars in disputed printer costs. Be sure to take your time when making the decisions that are crucial to the success of your book.

Do not sign with the first distributor that says “Yes.” Their acceptance may be flattering, but just because a company is interested in your title does not mean that your title will be well served by them. See prom pitfall above.

Ask to see the distributor’s catalog and then consider the following:

Would you be proud to have your title among this distributor’s other books?Does the distributor carry a reasonable number of books in your book’s field?Within your field, are the other distributed publisher…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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