PDA

View Full Version : Yet another imprint



JournoWriter
03-15-2013, 02:50 PM
So as I hunt for a publisher, I've been following Mr. Macdonald's advice to go to my local bookstores and check out what publishers are there in my genre. It's proven rather depressing, actually. Every time I think I've found the logo of a new independent publisher on the spine, I flip the book open to discover it's just another major-publisher imprint that I haven't heard of. Anyone else encounter that frustration?

I never paid attention to publishers before this, but now it's the first thing I check. My daughter has become really puzzled by my new behavior in bookstores, squinting at all the spines.

Torgo
03-15-2013, 02:55 PM
It's annoying, isn't it, because if you're outside the book trade almost none of these imprints mean anything to you. And even if you're on the inside, they don't mean much.

What's been happening over the last century or so is that all those little independent houses have been bought up by the conglomerates. The imprints remain, but functionally they often share lots of staff.

James D. Macdonald
03-15-2013, 06:07 PM
The multiplication of imprints is part of the so-called "death of the midlist." What's happened is that rather than one big list with all the books from one publisher on it (frontlist being the ones at the beginning of the list, backlist being the ones at the end of it, and midlist being everything in between), the books are broken up into multiple lists from multiple imprints, so more and more of them have a chance to be frontlisted on one or another imprint's list.

Thus, suppose Dreadful House (made up name) normally published thirty titles a year. The sales rep would come around, and the bookstore buyer would say, "Give me three copies of the top five books on your frontlist, 'kay?" So, five titles from Dreadful House hit the shelves, and twenty-five midlist writers are sad.

Then Dreadful House creates a couple of imprints, Dire House and Drool Press. The sales rep comes around with three lists, each with ten titles (plus backlist, which would be everything else they currently have in print). The sales rep whips out the Dreadful House list, and the bookstore buyer says, "Give me three copies of the top five books on your frontlist, 'kay?" Okay! Done!

Then the sales rep whips out the Dire House list, and the bookstore buyer says, "Give me three copies of the top five books on your frontlist, 'kay?" Okay! Done!

Then the sales rep whips out the Drool Press list and the buyer says, "Give me three copies of the top five books on your frontlist, 'kay?" Done!

And fifteen writers are now happy.

The midlist is vanishing! Oh noes! Ten of those writers, who would have been midlist writers, are now frontlist writers.

When looking for places to send your works, look at the guidelines for each imprint.

Michael Davis
03-15-2013, 08:14 PM
I think its all part of the shift to a market becoming saturated by E vs paperback media. Ebooks are more convenient and cheaper to the reader, and the profit margin higher for the publisher. Sure, there are hold outs that prefer the feel of paper but even that generation is fading fast. When my first novel was released 6 years ago my royalties were dominated 95% PB, now 16 releases later, the bulk of sales are from Ebooks. Wonder what the next trend will be.