After a great meeting with Susan Toy of Alberta Books Canada this weekend, which built on a conversation I’d had with an indie publisher a few weeks ago, I thought I’d do a quick post on what I’m calling ‘bevolution.’ Bevolution is short for ‘book evolution.’
Susan said to me, there are actually five (or six) sales involved in getting a book from author to consumer. Here they are – followed by an additional four steps involved in the consumer purchase decision when the customer is actually in the store with the book in front of them:
1. Author must sell manuscript to agent or acquisitions editor at publishing company (this is two steps if you have or are seeking an agent – you have to sell your book to an agent, who will then sell it to an acquisitions editor at a publishing company).
2. Acquisitions editor must sell book to marketing department.
3. Marketing department must sell book to sales department.
4. Sales department must sell book to retailers and etailers.
5. Retailers and etailers must sell book to consumers.
Once the book is in the store or on the book etailing site, Kate Sullivan of Candlemark & Gleam outlined four more steps in the decision-to-buy process:
6. Front cover.
7. Back cover (including marketing synopsis and blurbs from other authors/reviews).
8. First sentence/paragraph.
9. Random sentence/paragraph from the approximate middle of the book.
That’s a lot of bases to cover. It took almost four billion years for human beings to evolve in anything like their current form. Does that put your career trajectory from unknown scribbler to ‘best-selling author who’s a household word’ into perspective a bit?