Supporting and Surviving Your Success

September 2004
by Marion Gropen

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We all hope for a breakout book. When it happens, though, it can feel like a runaway roller-coaster. I was lucky enough to have that experience as a company’s new head of finance and administration. It was quite an introduction. This wonderful book sold 350,000 copies in hardcover, many times what we had hoped it might. It might have sold another few hundred thousand copies–if we had been ready for our success.

From that experience, I learned that you have to be prepared to support your books at all times, because you never know when success will strike. Preparation breaks down into three phases: steps to take now, key things to do while on the roller-coaster, and steps to take afterward to ensure that you reap all the rewards due you.


Develop sources of financing, improve the efficiency of your back office, find sources of temporary help, and hone the financial analysis techniques you will need.

To develop sources of financing, cultivate a relationship with the commercial lending officer at your bank. Lending officers aren’t just bankers; they’re people. Introduce yourself and become a familiar face. You want not only to help the lending officer understand your business–reducing the need for explanations later when time pressures are severe–but also to find out what the officer’s interests are so you can offer books and information about books in that area if you have them. Comp lending officers a…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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