• Guest please check The Index before starting a thread.

Ridan Publishing

priceless1

Banned
Joined
Feb 15, 2005
Messages
1,622
Reaction score
445
Location
Somewhere between sanity and barking mad
Website
www.behlerpublications.com
Clearly Ridan doesn't skimp on marketing since her sales are better than almost any small publisher I've seen... the marketing and production are the two things that don't seem to be issues with this publisher.
I think you misunderstand. I have no problem with the reported sales - I think that's marvelous - or with the fact that they market and promote very well. Huzzah for Ridan and their authors.

My only point was that it struck me as odd that a publisher spending a bucket of money on marketing and promotion would give their authors the chance to say "ta" whenever they like. I believe my authors are very pleased with us as well, and I don't think any of them would leave if given the chance. However, as a businesswoman, I want to make sure that my books are going to be around to warrant the expenditures.

Eh, maybe Robin just has a pair of brass ones. Brava to that.
 

CaoPaux

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Super Moderator
Moderator
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
13,900
Reaction score
1,655
Location
Coastal Desert
Do you really want me to have to prove that?

Do you think I can't find an out of date publisher or agent website?
No, but you do need to indicate whether you're including the scads of amateurs in your pronouncement that a lot of publishers have awful websites.

Agents are a different kettle of fish, since they need sell themselves only to editors.
 

shaldna

The cake is a lie. But still cake.
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
7,485
Reaction score
897
Location
Belfast
As a writer, and as a business person, I look at things like websites and if they haven't been updated in months then I immediately think that either:

a) they have gone bust/stopped trading and teh site is just running out it's prepaid term

b) they aren't bothered

c) they have no new deals / authors / news to share, which, over a couple of week is nothing, but over a couple of months would make me think that they are floundering.

No one has to have a superawesomeamazing website, but a practial one with a professional feel that is updated regularly and gives a good sense of what the publisher is about. This is more important for smaller publishers and presses who maybe don't have the reputation and/or presence yet and need to present themselves well.
 

Adobedragon

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jun 6, 2010
Messages
214
Reaction score
33
Location
New Mexico
No one has to have a superawesomeamazing website, but a practial one with a professional feel that is updated regularly and gives a good sense of what the publisher is about. This is more important for smaller publishers and presses who maybe don't have the reputation and/or presence yet and need to present themselves well.

Seems to me that unless the publisher has a means of distribution and sales beyond the web (presence in brick and mortar bookstores), their webpage should be a vehicle for selling books. Even if they utilize Amazon, etc., they should still have an attractive, up-to-date website that ... sells books.
 

dgaughran

Banned
Joined
Oct 1, 2009
Messages
1,256
Reaction score
100
Location
Stuck in Sweden
Website
davidgaughran.wordpress.com
Seems to me that unless the publisher has a means of distribution and sales beyond the web (presence in brick and mortar bookstores), their webpage should be a vehicle for selling books. Even if they utilize Amazon, etc., they should still have an attractive, up-to-date website that ... sells books.

How many times have you found a book you wanted to buy on Amazon but held yourself back until you saw whether the publisher's website was up-to-date first?
 

veinglory

volitare nequeo
Self-Ban
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
28,750
Reaction score
2,929
Location
right here
Website
www.veinglory.com
I see no reason to believe people aren't asking sincere questions. I think it would be respectful to assume so. Perhaps they are more familiar with genres and formats where customer do a lot of buying direct from publisher (e.g. romance ebooks).
 

veinglory

volitare nequeo
Self-Ban
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
28,750
Reaction score
2,929
Location
right here
Website
www.veinglory.com
Or they don't see the answers as being satisfactory in some way? Threads do tend to get repetitive over time. I blame MTV.
 

MacAllister

'Twas but a dream of thee
Staff member
Boss Mare
Administrator
Super Moderator
Moderator
Kind Benefactor
VPX
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
21,956
Reaction score
10,487
Location
Out on a limb
Website
macallisterstone.com
Dave, people ask and answer the same questions on this site, year after year after year. Look around at the other threads in this room, and how many years some of them have run -- you'll see that the same questions have been asked year after year after year on those threads too.

If you don't want to answer questions, no one is holding a gun to your head -- and frankly, your paranoid accusation that "there's something else going on" is offensive and overly-aggressive. I'm curious as to your own motives for being so defensive. And I could similarly set up a rhetorical fallacy to explain it: "Either DGaughran has a book with Ridan or other some conflict of interest to explain his defensiveness, or there's something else going on here!"

See how that works? And how fundamentally dishonest it is, in rhetorical terms? Don't be that guy.

You don't dictate what questions people ask. You don't dictate what gets discussed and what doesn't.
 
Last edited:

rsullivan9597

Banned
Joined
Feb 1, 2009
Messages
443
Reaction score
29
Location
Fairfax, VA
Will Ridan be at Book Expo America this year?

We do not have a booth in the exhibit hall (as we don't sell much in brick and mortar stores, but yes I will be there in order to keep a breast of the changes in the publishing industry.

I can't speak for any other publisher, but I can say that if I'm spending thousands of dollars on my authors' marketing and promotion, I need to be assured they're going to be around long enough for that huge expenditure to pay off.

So I guess the natural question is how much money do you spend on your authors' marketing and promotion, that you're willing to potentially see go down the tubes should they decide to leave?

This is my fourth company. I also was President of a software organization and I founded a marketing company. The best way to ensure a good ROI is to control spending. It's 2011 and the Internet, Social Networks (like Good Reads) and various online avenues mean you can get the word out without spending thousand of dollars. Marshall Thomas has sold (my top seller this month) 8,200 books in 17 days of May. I spent zero in advertising for him. I've made good mone for him, and for Ridan - what are the chances that he'll "walk away" with me generating that kind of sales for him? Not very likely I would think.

The marketing we have seen appears to be geared more towards Michael than any of her other authors and I think this is the point most of the AW members are pointing out.

Besides the out of date website - you've (probably) not seen any of the marketing that I do. Most of it is direct based on interests that readers have already expressed online.

It was mine too but then she showed figures for two other authors in her group. I still don't like a few things (mostly the look of favoritism), but it seems despite what I thought, we are not seeing the (or at lease all) marketing efforts (so they must be behind the scene) since her authors are selling thousands of copies of their books.

Precisely...In fact, Michael isn't the May top-seller. The current standings are:

Marshall Thomas: 8,200+ books (6 titles)
Michael J. Sullian: 2,050+ books (5 titles)
Nathan Lowell: 800 books (2 titles)

And we are stil a long way from May being over.

I think you misunderstand. I have no problem with the reported sales - I think that's marvelous - or with the fact that they market and promote very well. Huzzah for Ridan and their authors.

My only point was that it struck me as odd that a publisher spending a bucket of money on marketing and promotion would give their authors the chance to say "ta" whenever they like. I believe my authors are very pleased with us as well, and I don't think any of them would leave if given the chance. However, as a businesswoman, I want to make sure that my books are going to be around to warrant the expenditures.

Eh, maybe Robin just has a pair of brass ones. Brava to that.

Who ever said I spend "buckets of money". And when you sell thousands of books a month for the author - they don't really feel the desire to go looking for "a better deal" they'e too busy paying their bills with income from their writing.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

thothguard51

A Gentleman of a refined age...
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 16, 2009
Messages
9,316
Reaction score
1,063
Age
71
Location
Out side the beltway...
Besides the out of date website - you've (probably) not seen any of the marketing that I do. Most of it is direct based on interests that readers have already expressed online.

I can only point out that which I have seen in your sig and other links from google searches.

If there is marketing you have done which is not readily available by a google search, I stand corrected...
 

IceCreamEmpress

Hapless Virago
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Messages
6,449
Reaction score
1,320
When I get books for review from a publisher I have not previously heard of, my first act is to go to the website to try to get a sense of what kind of work they're doing. I am sure I am not the only book blogger/online reviewer who does this.

So, Robin, I would really encourage you to make an up-to-date website a priority where possible. It does make a difference.
 

shaldna

The cake is a lie. But still cake.
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 12, 2009
Messages
7,485
Reaction score
897
Location
Belfast
Besides the out of date website - you've (probably) not seen any of the marketing that I do.

If people are not seeing marketing, then it's clearly not being fully utilized.
 

Sydewinder

Banned
Joined
May 20, 2009
Messages
659
Reaction score
64
Location
Look up. you see that bright star in the sky? I li
I've done a full 180 on this place. I thought it might not be a good bet, but now I think it is.

I think Robin is saying that since she ran a marketing company, she knows what she's doing and doesn't need to spend money to increase sales, she exploits other avenues that others might not realize. Given the numbers she's producing, which is quite a lot better than, well, any epublisher or POD publisher I've seen, I think she's validated the worth of her company.
 

IceCreamEmpress

Hapless Virago
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Messages
6,449
Reaction score
1,320
Sydewinder, a lot of us have worked in marketing as well as publishing. Having an up-to-date website is a key part of a good marketing strategy; it's not like anyone's being shortsighted by suggesting that it's important. Only Robin can decide which tasks to prioritize, of course, and she's going to work to her schedule, not ours. Still, suggesting that people's critiques of that are naive or ill-informed doesn't hold water to me.
 

Kmarshall

Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 7, 2010
Messages
379
Reaction score
23
I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I know an author with a big publisher who does most of his own marketing.
 

Irysangel

She of Many Names
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Mar 19, 2005
Messages
1,711
Reaction score
936
I think it's clear Robin's doing something. The sales of the books in the Ridan stable overall seem to do very well in e-book. My guess is that she takes on a lot of the day-to-day 'facetime' and constant publicizing of their books that a lot of self-published authors do themselves. It works, but I imagine it's exhausting. Still, if they are keeping a small stable and she focuses her efforts on man-hours rather than flashy ads, who is to say that it's not working?

I know Robin has a publishing blog that she keeps updated on a regular basis, so perhaps the website is not as big of an issue for her particular demographic, since I am guessing that the main target of her efforts are other self-published authors, fantasy readers, and kindle enthusiasts.

She said she spent nothing on their advertising - that does not mean that she did not DO anything for advertising. Hell, I spent $1k on my last NY release out of my own pocket and it didn't do a thing for me. Do you think I'm doing that again? No. ;)

I'm not trying to sound like a Ridan cheerleader, as I don't agree with a lot of what Robin states, but...this is a niche company in a niche market. She's obviously found the sweet spot for them.

I'm just an observer here...

(Okay, I am morbidly curious because I follow the self-publishing forums with a lot of interest and this is just more rubbernecking)

...but I kind of feel like this horse is starting to be beaten, already.

(I'm going to go away now.)
 

rsullivan9597

Banned
Joined
Feb 1, 2009
Messages
443
Reaction score
29
Location
Fairfax, VA
I updated the Ridan Website a few days ago. So perhaps we can move on to something else now?

I can only point out that which I have seen in your sig and other links from google searches.

If there is marketing you have done which is not readily available by a google search, I stand corrected...

Yes most of my marketing is done direct - and therefore will not show up in a google search.

When I get books for review from a publisher I have not previously heard of, my first act is to go to the website to try to get a sense of what kind of work they're doing. I am sure I am not the only book blogger/online reviewer who does this.

So, Robin, I would really encourage you to make an up-to-date website a priority where possible. It does make a difference.

Point taken Ice Cream Empress - I just relased the projects I was working on:

- eBook Versions of 4 of Marshall Thomas's releases
- Griffin's Daughter 3 YA versions
- Nathan Lowell's Book #3 Full Share

So I updated the website. Ridan' books do get a TON of reviews from bloggers so our out of date site has not been a problem in the past - but in any case the measure is corrected.

If people are not seeing marketing, then it's clearly not being fully utilized.

And yet some how Marshall Thomas has sold 10,000 books in May and Nathan Lowell's newly released Sci-fi book is #3 on Amazon' Science Fiction list.

I think the proof of the marketing is in the number of books sold - not how many people on AW have seen the promotions.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

rsullivan9597

Banned
Joined
Feb 1, 2009
Messages
443
Reaction score
29
Location
Fairfax, VA
"I spent zero in advertising for him."

So... what's the advantage in having Ridan for a publisher if you've done nothing for him to increase sales?

LOL - Seriously....you think just because I didn't spend money I didn't do anything? Do you know how many ways there are to use the Internet (FREE) to promote authors? Come on people - read my posts. I don't spend money...I use my brains, my hardwork, and the Internet to promote my authors. It cost nothing but my time - and I have to spend a lot of that to build a platform for the authors. In some cases (Marshall) I'm all that's doing it. In others, like Nathan and Michael, the authors are helping as well.

Remember the old saying: Work smater not harder. Well I do work hard but not spending thousands of dollars is smart - best way to ensure a good ROI is to have a small investment.

I've done a full 180 on this place. I thought it might not be a good bet, but now I think it is.

I think Robin is saying that since she ran a marketing company, she knows what she's doing and doesn't need to spend money to increase sales, she exploits other avenues that others might not realize. Given the numbers she's producing, which is quite a lot better than, well, any epublisher or POD publisher I've seen, I think she's validated the worth of her company.

Thank you Sydewinder - I really appreciate that you "get" what I've been trying to say here.

Sydewinder, a lot of us have worked in marketing as well as publishing. Having an up-to-date website is a key part of a good marketing strategy; it's not like anyone's being shortsighted by suggesting that it's important. Only Robin can decide which tasks to prioritize, of course, and she's going to work to her schedule, not ours. Still, suggesting that people's critiques of that are naive or ill-informed doesn't hold water to me.

I never said their criticism of my outdated website was ill-informed. I just had 3 REALLY big projects that were ahead of it. But now those projects are done, the website is updated and I think we can move on to any other area about my business that people have issues with or questions on. I'm more than willing to discuss things here. I'm not hiding anything from anyone.

I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I know an author with a big publisher who does most of his own marketing.

Good point Kmarshall in the new world order of publishing an author SHOULD and in many cases is REQUIRED to help promote their books (You should see what is in Michael's Hachette Contract).

I personally think that no matter who you publish through, small press, big-six, or self you HAVE to promote yourself.

Now...that being the case. I totally don't understand publishers that bring on authors and don't market them. It's not doing them or the authors any good. Because my background is marketing that is one of the strengths I bring to the authors at Ridan and one of the reasons (I think) that they are able to sell thousands of books each month.

Hi Robin. FYI, I sent you a private message.

Thanks for letting me know - I don't always see them - I sent you a PM back - with my cell and email address - I'm in NY today (DIY of BEA) but need to be back in DC for a panel I'm doing at the SWFA Nebula Awards Weekend. But I'll be back in NY late Sunday evening and though Thursday.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

rsullivan9597

Banned
Joined
Feb 1, 2009
Messages
443
Reaction score
29
Location
Fairfax, VA
I think it's clear Robin's doing something. The sales of the books in the Ridan stable overall seem to do very well in e-book. My guess is that she takes on a lot of the day-to-day 'facetime' and constant publicizing of their books that a lot of self-published authors do themselves. It works, but I imagine it's exhausting. Still, if they are keeping a small stable and she focuses her efforts on man-hours rather than flashy ads, who is to say that it's not working?

Exactly. Yes it does work, and yes it is exhausting, but it is much more effective then ads (which cost $$).

I know Robin has a publishing blog that she keeps updated on a regular basis, so perhaps the website is not as big of an issue for her particular demographic, since I am guessing that the main target of her efforts are other self-published authors, fantasy readers, and kindle enthusiasts.

Yes I spend more time on the blog then the static website (easier to update).

She said she spent nothing on their advertising - that does not mean that she did not DO anything for advertising. Hell, I spent $1k on my last NY release out of my own pocket and it didn't do a thing for me. Do you think I'm doing that again? No. ;)

Sorry to hear you spent money with little results. But as someone who has been in advertising for a long time - this is not unusual. I've seen people spend a lot more and all it's really done is make them poorer.

I'm just an observer here...

(Okay, I am morbidly curious because I follow the self-publishing forums with a lot of interest and this is just more rubbernecking)

Actually, I hope there are a lot of people rubber necking on both this post and others I write. The industry has changed and you can be successful, and in many cases very successful even without a big publisher. Self-published authors and small pressess like Ridan can flourish in an environment where you have to be nimble and creative. I'v said it before and I'll say it again - there's never been a better time to be a writer.
 

Sydewinder

Banned
Joined
May 20, 2009
Messages
659
Reaction score
64
Location
Look up. you see that bright star in the sky? I li
Thank you Robin. I spoke again to one of your authors a week or so ago and he said something that was designed to put me in my place [sometimes I need that, plus we're friends so he can do that to me]. He said, "Sydewinder [that's what he calls me ;)], I have an agent and yet I've decided to leave my manusript with Ridan even though I could pull it if I wanted to. Plus before I had an agent I had several ofers for my manuscript from other publishers and still decided to publish with Ridan. Isn't that telling?" It should have been [to me at least, since I know him], and that's why I feel I should make this post, because I was pretty critical of Ridan a few posts back.

Despite everything that's been said in past posts [many things by me] the one thing I should have noticed is that not once has a Ridan author complained about Robin or the publishing house. Also, none of Ridan's authors have left, despite the ability to do so [as robin pointed out that they can]. Ridan's sales numbers speak volumes and Robin's willingness to share her methods on her website, as well as her willingness to come here and address questions and criticism speaks to her character.
 
Last edited: