If At First You Don’t Succeed, and Also If You Do: A PMA Roundtable on Lessons Start-Ups Learn

April 2003
by PMA Roundtable

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The many, many PMA members who responded to the “How did your first books do?” e-mail message didn’t just send interesting and instructive stories. They also, altogether, shed light on some publishing norms, with the result that even the newest publishers can now know more about what to expect.

For instance, responses show certain common mistakes of omission. Looking back on their first books, publishers often report suffering financially. The trouble, they say, is that “I didn’t …”

Realize how much marketing you have to do and how expensive it isManage to do enough marketing even though I knew what was necessaryGet a professional cover (and/or professional editing, copyediting, etc.)Learn enough about production to deal effectively with printersSpend enough time and effort preparing for each step in the publishing process.

Fortunately, though, some first-timers were able to become profitable quickly and those who weren’t generally found ways to improve their bottom lines going forward–thanks in large part to the mistakes they’d cursed themselves about, which turned out to be powerful learning devices. Only a handful of publishers said that they’d never made a profit, and this small group tended to focus on rewards like creativity, status, and feedback from appreciative readers, rather than on money.

Judging by all the reports, managing money better the second time around means spending differe…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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