Well, friends, it’s time to raise some sand and try something similar, yet different.
Lots of irons in the fire here at the Lummox empire. Mostly it’s business as usual, meaning Lummox keeps putting out books by talented writers/poets and they, for the most part, don’t do very well…that is to say, the books don’t sell like I think they should.
Maybe I’m not marketing them correctly, or not stressing to the authors the importance of their selling their own books. But either way, the books that do best seem to be for the authors with the biggest fan base…which is crazy when you think about it, because we’re talking about poets: moody, self-centered folk who don’t usually have a lot of friends or fans to begin with.
But it looks like to really sell well, you need a fan base that is well over 10,000 names strong! Who has that many friends? Maybe some hot girl on Facebook, but nobody I know. Does Billy Collins have that many friends/fans? I doubt it…and he’s FAMOUS!
And why so many fans you say? Because you’re lucky if you can sell to 3% of your list…it’s more like 2 or even 1%. And that’s 1000 sales out of 10,000! Come to think of it, mostly it’s even less that that…more like one half a percent: 500 sales. And since most of the poets I have published of late have only got maybe 3-500 friends/fans that equals 30 to 50 sales or less!
Question is, how do I bump up that amount? Do I only publish poets with a lot of fans? Do I make them pre-sell their book and if they can’t meet the minimum amount, let them go and refund everyone’s money? Or I could go to a vanity press format and charge X amount of dollars for X amount of books (set-up charge + unit charge) and let them go on their merry way? That one is tempting. Or do I… So many questions. So few answers.

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