Don’t try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether
This statement has been driving my marketing plan, currently a work-in-progress, and a big section of the Business Plan.
The other day I ran through my head various press releases. Then I stopped. Why should A&S Publishing and its writers attempt to compete with Alyson Publications or South End Press or Beacon Press?
The basic business model driving traditional publishing slays small imprints and self-publishers (not to be confused with subsidy presses).
The basic business model of the book publishing industry remained largely unchanged between the Great Depression and the turn of the Millennium - Printing a lot of books and trying to get them reviewed so that stores would stock them on consignment, advertise, then hope that they don’t come back as returns. Small imprints and self-publishers were reduced to begging distributors to accept their titles at discounts of 60% or more, and were expected to accept returns in any condition and quantity. (Link: Foner Books)
And these small imprints have to compete for shelf space with Harry Potter and The Da Vinci Code. Plus, book buyers, even if they are gay or lesbian, know maybe two things, at most, about FtMs. So why am I turning over book sales to them?
I’m not doing it.
I’m staying small and tight. Pushing Allen and Sennett to become a global micro-brand.