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Project nachonaco
12-29-2007, 05:49 AM
I'm from a city with about....

*looks on Wikipedia*

121k peoples. Not metropolitan population, didn't count that 'cause I didn't know what it meant. :p

So every once in a while I go into Barnes and Nobles and spend around 40-50 bux on myself. 'Cause I deserve it.

Then I see either the downstairs 'Local' section, or the upstairs one that's on the end of an aisle.

Every time, except once or twice, I see "iUniverse", "AuthorHouse", "1st Author (I think that's what it was)" and even "PublishAmerica".

Only once have I seen one with an agent.

It depresses me.

Anyone else see this?

edgyllama
12-29-2007, 07:22 AM
???:Huh:???

Project nachonaco
12-29-2007, 07:26 AM
It just depresses me to see people without agents that go with PublishAmerica....

Wrong forum, maybe? :x

Rolling Thunder
12-29-2007, 07:31 AM
Many PA authors either don't know any better, have given up trying to place their book elsewhere, or have some sort of 'hatred' for agents or editors.

JulieB
12-29-2007, 07:59 AM
Not to defend (or put down) any particular publisher, but it seems to me that local interest books are more likely to be self-published or come from a small press. No agent needed in either case. The reason for this is well, local interest. A book on the genealogy in your town (no matter how fascinating it may be) stands a microscopically small chance of getting on a bookstore shelf anywhere else in the country. Same with a history of the early settlers of your area.

This is one of those niches that self-publishing fills, and fills well. I'm back at work on my genealogy project. It has a ready audience - of family members and perhaps a few people researching the same lines. If I ever get it finished I'll print it through Lulu. That's not an invalidation of my work. I simply understand that a publisher isn't going to make money on it.

And it wouldn't surprise me if a bookstore dumped other self-pubbed books by local authors in the "local interest" section because they don't know what to do with them. (A related tale: Sometimes bookstores will shelve books by regional authors and from regional presses in the "local interest" section, even if the books aren't of local interest.)

(And if all this has you thinking about "a local shop for local people," welcome to the club.)

Project nachonaco
12-29-2007, 08:06 AM
Not to defend (or put down) any particular publisher, but it seems to me that local interest books are more likely to be self-published or come from a small press. No agent needed in either case. The reason for this is well, local interest. A book on the genealogy in your town (no matter how fascinating it may be) stands a microscopically small chance of getting on a bookstore shelf anywhere else in the country. Same with a history of the early settlers of your area.

This is one of those niches that self-publishing fills, and fills well. I'm back at work on my genealogy project. It has a ready audience - of family members and perhaps a few people researching the same lines. If I ever get it finished I'll print it through Lulu. That's not an invalidation of my work. I simply understand that a publisher isn't going to make money on it.

And it wouldn't surprise me if a bookstore dumped other self-pubbed books by local authors in the "local interest" section because they don't know what to do with them. (A related tale: Sometimes bookstores will shelve books by regional authors and from regional presses in the "local interest" section, even if the books aren't of local interest.)

(And if all this has you thinking about "a local shop for local people," welcome to the club.)

They're actually stories, fiction, etc....Local Authors, not Local Interest.

JulieB
12-29-2007, 08:18 AM
They're actually stories, fiction, etc....Local Authors, not Local Interest.

Then I stand by what I said before. If you'll check through the NEPAT and some other topics here you'll see that PA authors have had varying success getting their books into Borders or B&N in their towns. Maybe Jim will have better data on this, but it's just my experience that self-pubbed books by local authors get shelved in the local interest section.

(Like your cat, BTW.)

veinglory
12-29-2007, 08:25 AM
I guess its nice of them to let local self-publishers get into at least one store. It doesn't acheive much on the larger scale of things. What is sad is when I see a big pile of someone's PA or iU book on the shelves, signed -- then a few months later I see them all on the remainder table. That suggests someone parted company with reality, two or three copies is plenty.

DaveKuzminski
12-29-2007, 08:25 AM
P&E has asked PA writers to email us if they succeeded in getting their books into book stores. We've had very few state they succeeded. More stated no. Personally, I think a lot of claims on the PAMB about getting books into stores are unreliable. The many questions about marketing and such in conjunction with the results I've mined from emails tend to support my conclusion.

Tina
12-31-2007, 10:27 PM
I'm from a city with about....

*looks on Wikipedia*

121k peoples. Not metropolitan population, didn't count that 'cause I didn't know what it meant. :p

So every once in a while I go into Barnes and Nobles and spend around 40-50 bux on myself. 'Cause I deserve it.

Then I see either the downstairs 'Local' section, or the upstairs one that's on the end of an aisle.

Every time, except once or twice, I see "iUniverse", "AuthorHouse", "1st Author (I think that's what it was)" and even "PublishAmerica".

Only once have I seen one with an agent.

It depresses me.

Anyone else see this?

It can be the case, sometimes, that small (local) papers are sometimes desperate for "news." I remember the local paper when I was in grade school printing the names of every single kid (about 50) going on a field trip because it filled space. It seemed idiotic to me even at 10 years of age.

Possibly, you could send messages to the newspaper indicating that these authors paid to publish and that their manuscripts are minimally vetted if at all. Better still, send a letter to the editor providing a brief, non-preachy lesson about publishing and how iUniverse, for example, differs from Penguin.

Komnena
12-31-2007, 11:17 PM
It can be the case, sometimes, that small (local) papers are sometimes desperate for "news." I remember the local paper when I was in grade school printing the names of every single kid (about 50) going on a field trip because it filled space. It seemed idiotic to me even at 10 years of age.

Possibly, you could send messages to the newspaper indicating that these authors paid to publish and that their manuscripts are minimally vetted if at all. Better still, send a letter to the editor providing a brief, non-preachy lesson about publishing and how iUniverse, for example, differs from Penguin.

Maybe that's why the Henderson Gleaner, my hometown newspaper, has had pieces about writers who've had their books printed by PublishAmerica.

Gravity
01-01-2008, 01:01 AM
Apropos of nothing, "Henderson Gleaner" would have been a great name for Sinclair Lewis to have used in a book. Carry on. :D

James D. Macdonald
01-01-2008, 02:01 AM
My local paper prints the school lunch menus on the front page, and reports on birthday parties and Cub Scout meetings.

Those are the kinds of newspapers (bless 'em!) where PA authors get their local fame. A newspaper with a major circulation ... not so much.

Uncarved
01-01-2008, 02:09 AM
I am insanely happy that my regional book, A Georgia Native Plant Guide, is listed under the Gardening section and not in the Local Authors section. There is, however, many books by the publisher (Mercer University Press) that are in the local section, but they have mine in general gardening. I'm pleased. So far every bookstore has done it this way.

T

Hummertime
01-01-2008, 02:35 AM
It can be the case, sometimes, that small (local) papers are sometimes desperate for "news." I remember the local paper when I was in grade school printing the names of every single kid (about 50) going on a field trip because it filled space. It seemed idiotic to me even at 10 years of age.

Speaking as one who writes for both the local news and the national news, it comes down to the fact that the audience for each is different. People are looking for news of national interest when they follow the national news. On the other hand, they are looking for news of local interest when they read the local news. A book published by a local author is a matter of local interest.

In fact, it was the local situation that originally interested SooToday.com in doing a PA story. They offered contracts to a couple local authors.

Tina
01-03-2008, 12:04 AM
Speaking as one who writes for both the local news and the national news, it comes down to the fact that the audience for each is different. People are looking for news of national interest when they follow the national news. On the other hand, they are looking for news of local interest when they read the local news. A book published by a local author is a matter of local interest.

In fact, it was the local situation that originally interested SooToday.com in doing a PA story. They offered contracts to a couple local authors.

At least you and SooToday had the guts to be honest about the situation and not just do a gloss-over. The kinds of articles that paint PA-authors as "success stories" are worrisome because it attracts other aspiring writers ignorant of the problems almost certain to happen with a PA contract.

PO'd @ PA
06-26-2010, 11:22 PM
I was in my local Barnes & Noble last year and they said they had my book in the back. When I couldn't find it I asked another employee and got a real answer. It was in the back of the store in the employees only area. In other words it was not on the shelf and one would have to ask for it by name while an employee went to the break area or lunch room in a customer restricted area and dig it out of a pile of books in the corner no one ever sees.