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Author Topic: Harper Collins  (Read 8928 times)

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Charles King

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Harper Collins
« on: December 05, 2009, 01:26:12 PM »

I can't believe no one's posted on this yet. Harper Collins has a new imprint. Here's an article on the subject.

So are we talking Scrooge economics or the merging of some type of free-market hippie idealism.

CKing 8)
A writer must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid.

William Faulkner


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Re: Harper Collins
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2009, 03:04:58 PM »

If the big publishers don't like the current system, it goes tenfold for small ones. But I don't see how what they're doing with this new imprint is any different from what writers get by going with a small press like I did, or even self-publishing, UNLESS the imprint guarantees they will, somehow, be on the holy wholesaler's lists and get books into BN and other major chain book stores. But with that returns policy, I think not.

Publishing is changing these days with books selling for 5 bucks instead of their list price of almost $30. and I can see the major publishers are going to be forced to change their way of doing business. How that will affect writers, I don't know.

My publisher, Second Wind, is up against this system and doesn't have the money that big publishing houses have or used to have. Second Wind's strateg is to open a real bookstore in Winston Salem, NC, in the next few months. Being part of indie book store groups will be a way to get our books into the bookstores. Got to be creative these days.

And aside from writing and publishing concern, I'm glad if the current system changes because there are a lot of trees wasted.


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Re: Harper Collins
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2009, 09:45:30 PM »

The date on this post was May 13, 2008. Does anyone know what's happened since? Did they cave on the return policy?


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Re: Harper Collins
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2010, 03:54:03 PM »

I work part-time in a bookstore:  we destroy hundreds of books each month and return about a hundred more.  With a couple hundred thousand books in the store at any given time, every inch of shelf space is carefully planned to maximized potential sales. 

That isn't exactly a promising environment for a new author unless they have a major house backing them.   I can promise you that if we receive only one copy of a new hardcover novel, it will be shelved - spine out - not faced out like James Patterson's 40 copies, because that's how we can get more books on the shelf.   Essentially, the customer has to be looking for the book or your title has to grab them for it to be perused.  Yet we still cannot begin to meet every customer's whim.  Special orders are a regular part of the business since real life customers are much more unique than the bestseller-focused market.   

That said, we can think of the changes to the book business as a great loss or a great opportunity, sort of like:

The 'Westward Expansion' of publishing!

Maybe right now there isn't any real 'law' or established 'railroad line' to success, but there is excitement and promise.  Your indie bookshop sounds cool; the idea of a bookprinting machine within bookstores opens up all sorts of avenues; and digital publishing promises to at least spread out the paychecks -- all parts of the 'wagon train' to the future; there will be a publishing version of a 'gunslinger' just waiting to steal our stories; plus the old publishing houses will be holding us back wherever they can like the Native Americans trying to protect their turf...but at the same time:

* reducing risks & costs to the publisher will mean they will take on more authors,
* not shipping millions of books to places where they will only be destroyed in a few weeks, will save a bundle of cash (and trees too),

so maybe the focus can turn to promotions which will allow the industry to reach out in more directions to appeal to those 'off the beaten bestseller list' customers.

It sounds to me like an expanding market!

Warm regards,



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Re: Harper Collins
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2010, 10:10:45 AM »

I haven't heard anything more on the subject.
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