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The Six Stupidest Things My Publishers Have Ever Said

28 September 2011

Aaron Goldfarb, author of How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide, tells all:

2.  “Ask them why they aren’t buying!”

Any time I returned from a book event–this publisher never attended–and I’d proudly tell him how many books were sold, he wouldn’t pat me on the back and say, “Good job.”  He’d instead wonder why the book hadn’t sold to other people.  If 200 people were at the signing and 199 bought, he didn’t care about those 199, he only cared about the one.  And, what was I to do for that one non-customer?  Why “Ask them why they aren’t buying!”  How he wanted me to do this I am not sure.  I imagined jumping up from the table where dozens of people were waiting for my autograph and chasing down a guy I saw casually scoff and then exit.  “Excuse me, sir, excuse me, sir.  Can I ask you a question:  why didn’t you buy my book?”

3.  “E-mail everyone and tell them to cancel their Amazon orders!”

This sounds too crazy to be true, but the first day my book went for pre-order sales on Amazon it immediately jumped from unranked to inside the Amazon top 5000.  Not too shabby, I thought.  Far too shabby, my publisher thought, apparently not pleased with Amazon getting 55% of his cut.  So, he told me to e-mail any one that had already bought via Amazon–how would I possibly know such a thing?!–and get them to cancel their orders and instead buy my book from his terribly-designed, user-unfriendly company website where he would get 100% of the cut.

. . . .

6.  “This ‘Jersey Shore’ show seems to be popular.  How can we get you on the show to promote your book?”

This statement occurred after my publisher accidentally got sucked into a “Jersey Shore” marathon one weekend while his grandchildren were visiting. . . . [M]aybe I should have stumbled over to Seaside Heights for a surprise walk-on.

Link to the rest at Aaron Goldfarb

 

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7 Comments to “The Six Stupidest Things My Publishers Have Ever Said”

  1. Boy I wanted to read the rest, but gray on black? I had to highlight the original blog post just to read it all. LOL

  2. I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. Aaron, you have the patience of Job.

  3. Great post by Aaron. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I clicked & commented, too!

    True stupidity—which abounds in publishing (and elsewhere)—provides an infinite source of entertainment.

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