December 12, 2008, Newsletter Issue #4: Publisher Ceases Acquisitions

Tip of the Week

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced a temporary ban on acquisitions!  This certainly sends a doom and gloom message to wanna-be-published authors everywhere.  The entire publishing industry is going through a rough time with layoffs at Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Random House, and Houghton Mifflin and it’s been said that this is just the beginning.
Many of us in the industry are all for less annually published titles and  better product, but for it to be forced upon us, well, that’s a different story. Who would have thought that the publishing industry, one of the few retail associated products would be hit so deeply?  After all, how many gifts can one buy around $25 that gives so much joy? 
I wish I could be more optimistic and a voice of encouragement for getting your book published during these tough economic times. The truth of the matter is with publishers seeking titles that are going to jump off the retail shelves with author name recognition, hot/timely topics and author platforms the likes of which celebrities are made of, I believe it’s just going to get tougher for an unknown author to be recognized and rise to the top of the slush pile.
So what can an author do to be published in this economy?  Do  MORE.  If you have a speaking platform, a website, a blog, sponsorships, media contacts, e-mail list, you’re in a good position, but you need to make it even better. The saying goes with good work you get poor results, in order to get good results you have to aim for greatness.  So, with all that you have in place, increase your outreach, blog daily, send value-add e-mail blasts, offer to speak for your local organizations, donate your time and look in places you would never think to pitch yourself as a writer.  It may take longer, but if you persist, you will probably succeed in building a very worthwhile list of references and accomplishments that may get the attention of a trade publisher.
There’s always a way.


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