Marketing by the Seat of Our Pants

April 1998
by Alex Lubertozzi

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Small Press Selection Program Pays Off for High Tide Press

On November 15, Chicago-based High Tide Press released Different Seasons: Twelve Months of Wisdom & Inspiration by Rev. Dr. Dale Turner, a pastor for 25 years at Seattle’s University Congregational Church and, since retiring from the ministry in 1982, a popular columnist on the Religion page of The Seattle times. During the six-week, Holiday pre-release, Different Seasons sold more than 5,000 copies-the entire first print run. Dr. Turner’s book, Different Seasons, was aptly titled. We relied more on inspiration than wisdom when it came to the marketing though. We signed Rev. Dale Turner to a two-book deal through a colleague on the West Coast, but were only able to get the first manuscript, a collection of some of his best columns, ready to go to the printer in September. We knew we had missed the best time to market the book for the holidays, but (to paraphrase Tom Cruise in Risky Business) we decided to say, “What the heck!” We would sell what we could during the month-and-a-half before Christmas, any books sold being gravy. In December, while explaining to the twelfth Barnes & Noble in Seattle that, “Yes, we are all out of Dale Turner’s Different Seasons – we only printed 5,000 – have you tried…,” I couldn’t help but think back to August, when our distributor, IPG, told us that holiday sales were over for 1997, and that we would be hard-pressed to get the att…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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