Monday, August 12, 2019

Offer Up and Publishing

So, this weekend, I was busy cleaning the garage and put a book case on Offer Up. You know the APP. Take a picture of what you want to sell, throw it online and see who wants it. I had tried the APP several years ago and was a bit frustrated. Not because I could not sell the items, it came down to the number of people who contacted me and simply made ridiculous offers. There was this belief that these items, already clearly marked down from the original price was not enough for the buyers. They all wanted more. And sure enough, the same thing happened again.

So the book case I have online is an IKEA bookcase. Great shape. Original price $149. I am offering $35. Great deal! Then the offers:
  •  I'll pick it up if you want to give it to me for free (BTW it is marked as the buyer had to pick it up!)
  • I'll give you $5.00
  • I'll take it for that price but you have to deliver it to me (this person is over 90 minutes away)
Now, why am I linking this to the Publishing world. It seems like writers do the exact same thing.

Writers seem to want the world when it comes to their contracts, regardless of the quality of the book or their careers. Now, before I go to far, please understand that I am all for authors getting as much as they can for their books. However, writer have to know that there are limits.

This is a business world and the writer, even in the case of self-publishing is not the only player. Book buyers, book sellers, publishers, graphic artists, copy editors, production editors, marketing teams all are part of the equation. 

Writers also need to understand that their publishing record and their individual novel are also factors in deciding what you get and what you don't get. 

I am reminded of a friend of ours from the debate world. He was in the debate offices and the professors and coaches were there as well. They all started talking about what they were going to do right after graduation. He made the statement that he had it all planned out. Upon graduation, he would land a 6-figure salary.

Everyone laughed. 

He was not in a field that offered that. It was 1988. He had no internships and only a B+ GPA. He expected the world!

Look, I am all for authors asking for "some" things when they enter into a business relationship with a publisher or agent, but remember, this is not Offer Up or a garage sale. This is a business.

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