How hard can getting people to pay you less for your product actually be?

It’s amazing how the busier I am the less time I have for blogging. Actually, scrub that: it isn’t amazing at all when you think about it.

Most of my energies have been directed towards marketing, getting revues and negotiating deals for ‘Bringing home the stars’. It’s a never-ending treadmill that seems at this stage to have no rewards and no obvious affect on sales. There is a question that I keep asking myself, and it is: “when will the advance orders actually start to trickle through and be fulfilled?”. I’ve been asking this for a while now, and in all honesty I just don’t know. As a new publisher, All Mouse Media is treading this ground for the first time, having diversified away from online media. The truth is that no-one here knows exactly; it’s a major learning curve for all concerned.

Revues and favourable quotes are trickling in. I alwasy thought that these would be a hard part, but careful work and networking (and downright cheek at times) has paid off. Now I’m left thinking that this may be, along with writing, editing and getting into print a book, the easy part. Selling the damn things is hard! The launch is less than a month away now; it soon comes around fast. We still have events to try and book at branches of Waterstones, but the bumf for these is somewhere between the printers and All Mouse Media Ltd’s HQ. Until that arrives, it’s a case of finger twiddling and trying not to drink too much tea and coffee. Sort of. Actually, there’s still plenty of thankless tasks to do and they are getting done – slowly.

The two cartons of books for promotional purposes are slowly going down. The first one actually is almost empty and I can see the bottom. whether that is a good sign, I don’t know. Lots of people seem to want free copies, but whether what they can offer in return will translate to sales I really do not know. We have had a few sales, but they aren’t the landslide that would have cleaned out all the stock in the first week. We never expected that to happen though for a new company, unless we were incredibly lucky.

Personally, I want to see the book in Waterstones’ 3 for 2 offer. Whether that can be negotiated is something that I’ll find out over the next few days. An Amazon discount too is something I’d like to see, but as of today the price for pre-order there stubbornly remains at the full RRP. It is a minefield trying to track down the people who we need to talk to and actually talking to them, but we’re getting there. It is not helped by the fact that a lot of companies in this area don’t seem to like to let you know contact details for who you need to talk to. As a start, you just try and find the 0207 (London) number for Amazon listed on their website. I actually found it via a third party contact – is that really how companies like it? It does feel like bookselling is surrounded by some kind of cult of secrecy.

I think it was BR in the 1980s who used the slogan “We’re getting there”. Well, we are. Slowly.