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Thread: book category sales

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Stephanie Golden's Avatar
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    book category sales

    I'm writing a proposal, trying to figure out which would be the best category(ies) for this book. Could be fitness, could be health & wellness, could be longevity. \

    Is there a source to find out which categories (as opposed to individual titles) have the largest markets?
    Stephanie Golden
    Blog: Writing Craft & Practice
    www.stephaniegolden.net
    Slaying the Mermaid: Women and the Culture of Sacrifice: available on Kindle and Smashwords

  2. #2
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie Golden View Post
    I'm writing a proposal, trying to figure out which would be the best category(ies) for this book. Could be fitness, could be health & wellness, could be longevity. \

    Is there a source to find out which categories (as opposed to individual titles) have the largest markets?
    I'd suggest that, when the book is submitted to a publisher, that they will know what genre or subgenre your book fits into so I'd just concentrate on getting it written for the moment and then letting your agent or publisher deal with the headache of how to list or market it

  3. #3
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I agree with Boovis. Now if you have someone interested and waiting for your proposal, that's one thing. Of course, how would I realistically know, since I've never written a proposal. I've just written the book and then looked for a publisher. Hmm.

    What if you tell them it fits in three categories. My works never fit into just one. I'm always between the cracks. Sorry I can't be more helpful.

  4. #4
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Stephanie Golden's Avatar
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    I do have an agent waiting for it, but from what I can gather (and I did a fair amount of research) agents and editors want to know from the getgo what shelves in the bookstore (or more realistically, what category at Amazon) it will be assigned to. So I picked one basic one and two secondary ones.
    Stephanie Golden
    Blog: Writing Craft & Practice
    www.stephaniegolden.net
    Slaying the Mermaid: Women and the Culture of Sacrifice: available on Kindle and Smashwords

  5. #5
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin dpawl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie Golden View Post
    I do have an agent waiting for it, but from what I can gather (and I did a fair amount of research) agents and editors want to know from the getgo what shelves in the bookstore (or more realistically, what category at Amazon) it will be assigned to. So I picked one basic one and two secondary ones.
    I'm having the same experience with agents. It appears they want to know the genre right away for marketing purposes. It makes sense to know your target market, and it's good that you chose one basic and two secondary because a bookstore at the airport may have a different way of displaying books than a bookstore at the mall, and Amazon may a completely different way.

  6. #6
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Stephanie Golden's Avatar
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    The agents want to know because the publishers want to know. They are hysterical because the publishing industry is going down the tubes, and they want everything but a gold-plated guarantee that they can sell the book. The last proposal I wrote didn't sell. One publisher was very interested but wouldn't buy the book unless we could prove to them that we could sell 50,000 copies. Surprise--we couldn't.
    Stephanie Golden
    Blog: Writing Craft & Practice
    www.stephaniegolden.net
    Slaying the Mermaid: Women and the Culture of Sacrifice: available on Kindle and Smashwords

  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin dpawl's Avatar
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    Wow! When you say 50,000 copies, are you referring to printed copies, or does that number include ebook sales?

  8. #8
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Stephanie Golden's Avatar
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    Print copies. It was a while ago, publishers weren't so focused on ebooks.
    Stephanie Golden
    Blog: Writing Craft & Practice
    www.stephaniegolden.net
    Slaying the Mermaid: Women and the Culture of Sacrifice: available on Kindle and Smashwords

  9. #9
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin dpawl's Avatar
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    I'm wondering if publishers typically have marketing professionals on staff. It's not an easy process to come up with a projected sales forecast and tailor a marketing program based on this information.

  10. #10
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    It really depends what the book is. I mean oif the book really is all about living longer that has modest potential, if it genuinely is about weight loss it would have a hell of a lot more. But a book can only be genuinely, centrally totally all about a fairly small number of things (simultaneously). If it is a little bit about a lot of things but not really focussed on any of them, then the sales potential tend to go down.

  11. #11
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Stephanie Golden's Avatar
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    Publishers have understaffed, overworked marketing and publicity departsments, so except for the rock-bottom basics, they hardly ever do marketing any more, except for really big-name authors. The average midlist author has to do his or her own publicity and marketing, except that the publisher will send a press release review copies to their own list of periodicals, plus any names the author supplies (saving the author lots of money, although usually you have to rewrite the press release because the publicity person never read the book). Being asked to guarantee 50,000 copies was pretty extreme, but basically authors must do their own marketing these days, which is one reason book authors are so quick to complain about publishers.
    Stephanie Golden
    Blog: Writing Craft & Practice
    www.stephaniegolden.net
    Slaying the Mermaid: Women and the Culture of Sacrifice: available on Kindle and Smashwords

  12. #12
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    My non-fiction publisher put my book in their catalog and take my book to conventions, and the book sells. I am not sure what else I would expect them to do.

  13. #13
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Stephanie Golden's Avatar
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    Used to be they got you on media. The publicity dept would call TV producers, they would get you on radio, call magazine editors to get your book reviewed (of course then magazines actually reviewed books). When my first book came out the publisher actually gave me a mini book tour, which included lots of radio, a local TV show, a newspaper interview, and a talk/signing at a bookstore. When my 2d book came out things were already changing but the publisher got me a gig as a keynote speaker at a book fair. Those were the days.
    Stephanie Golden
    Blog: Writing Craft & Practice
    www.stephaniegolden.net
    Slaying the Mermaid: Women and the Culture of Sacrifice: available on Kindle and Smashwords

  14. #14
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin dpawl's Avatar
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    Thank you. This is very informative.

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