Monday, August 31, 2009

Supply and Demand - An Open Letter To Readers

Dear Readers,


I was talking with one of my writers a couple of days ago about her books. She was saying that she is constantly getting comments from her readers that they love her books but scream that they can’t find any of her prior books. In these cases, they had jumped on board with some of her later books and now wanted to go back and read some of her earlier books. This is actually a common occurrence but one that really only you can deal with.


Writers do all they can to promote sales. Hey, this is how they make their living as a writer. They advertise, they do book sales, they blog. But in the end, the book sales only occur if you as a reader buy the books. I know, you now scream, “But Scott, we want to but the books are out of print!” Ahh, the answer is quite easy. Ask!


Readers often walk out of the book store simply complaining instead of doing something about getting the books. Don’t just grumble. Do something about it. Sure, contacting the writer is great but in the end, the writer really doesn’t have much they can do. The people you need to contact is marketing department at the publisher. Get those postcards out to them begging for the books. Get your friends to do the same thing. Those of you that are reviewers, can also do this. You have to tell the people who count.


The same goes for the type of books you want to see. I have talked to editors in the past about certain genres and they often say there just isn’t much interest in “fill in the blank.” I always walk away confused because I hear the other side of things from readers. Time travels and westerns are great examples. Readers scream to me, why don’t they do more of these? Again, you are telling the wrong person. Tell the publishers.


You need to understand the publishing business is about supply and demand. They supply the books when the demand is there. If you love a particular writer, tell the publishers. Get your friends to do the same thing. And yes, writers, if you have blogs, if you have websites, make sure your readers start contacting the publisher to demand books. If you want a second printing of your book, you have to guide your readers in the right direction.


Oh, and one final note to the readers. Your favorite writer continues to get book deals and continue to write your favorite books on sales. Passing a book on to your friend, buying used copies and the like might be inexpensive and certainly friendly doesn’t promote sales. The publishers don’t see those numbers and in the end, doesn’t give the writer much leverage. If you want to see more, help them out.


Just a thought!


Keep on buying those books!


Scott C. Eagan

Agent - Greyhaus Literary Agency



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