We previously talked about what makes good metadata: writing effective copy to sell your book and doing what you can to help customers actually find that book. While these are good practices to start with going forward, there is also a need to revisit the backlist often with these same ideas in mind.
Marketing copy can always be revised, and the most sensible element to update isn’t the book description, but the contributor bios. Authors won’t always live in one place, nor will they always have a set number of children or pets. They can have new editorials, books and media appearances, and they can create new social media presences that didn’t exist when the bio was first written.
A bio should change with its contributor, so update those when possible.
Next is the selected reviews section. While reviews only typically roll in for frontlist titles, they do occasionally get picked up by a big name a year or more down the line.
The DBW Daily is the go-to newsletter for staying up to date on the biggest issues facing the book publishing industry and indie authors. To get all the top stories and think pieces from the past 24 hours in your inbox every day at 8:00 AM, sign up for the DBW Daily today!
What’s Ahead for Bookselling in 2017 (PW)
Despite the contentious presidential election, sales at indie bookstores are expected to be up slightly last year, edging out what had been for many a record year in 2015. If sales hold steady in 2017, that would be good news for many booksellers. In his holiday letter late last month, American Booksellers Association CEO Oren Teicher predicted that most indie stores would end 2016 on “a positive note,” with sales up nearly 5 percent overall compared to 2015.
Trade Publishers Focused on Strategic Deals in 2016 (PW)
After a quiet 2015 with only modest mergers-and-acquisitions activity in the trade book market, deal making picked up last year. Four of the Big Five trade publishers were involved in transactions in 2016, the largest being the Hachette Book Group’s purchase of the publishing arm of the Perseus Books Group. The acquisition involved all nine of Perseus’s book imprints and added about $100 million in annual sales to HBG’s publishing program. Simultaneous with HBG’s purchase, Ingram bought the four groups that composed Perseus’s distribution business, making Ingram the distributor for 600 publishers. A similar deal was called off in August 2014.
Important Publishing Developments Authors Should Know (Jane Friedman)
It’s commonly said that in the United States, overall trade book sales are divided about 70-30 print-digital, and that ebook sales at traditional publishing houses are flat to declining. (You’ve probably heard the celebratory and misleading claims that “print is back!”)
My 2017 Writing and Creative Business Goals (Creative Penn)
Here are my creative and business goals for 2017. If you’re a goal-setting junkie like me (or if you just want some accountability!), please do share yours in the comments below.