Welcome to our latest fortnightly eBulletin, posted here on 1 November 2022. In this issue:
In a pre-course QA last week, an editorial assistant described the copywriting she was already doing as ‘writing copy for academic authors’, by which she meant writing back cover copy.
Totally unconnected, the head of a science publisher yesterday commented to me that ‘all authors think their books are trade books’.
Respect for authors’ opinions (and avoiding contradicting them, knowing it will take time we don’t have) continues to lead to poor publishing decisions. But that author really doesn’t know best when it comes to publishing, and we owe it to them to apply our professional expertise. It concerns me that the significance of writing that back cover copy (which becomes the product copy on the website and on Amazon) had not been explained to the editorial assistant.
I still see academic titles positioned as ‘trade’ when they’re not. Pricing them lower won’t sell more copies, it’ll just hit your profit margin. And being persuaded to do this by the strength of the author’s (biased) perspective is setting ourselves up for a lose-lose situation when sales are as disappointing as we always suspected.
If you recognise either of these scenarios, there are things you can do which in the long run will reward you with book sales:
Thank you to Solveig Servian for spotting this cartoon in The Guardian and knowing I’d appreciate it. I’m sure you will too. How many times have you heard ‘I’ve just got a few quick notes from the team’? And you know what that means, right?
Thank you to The Scholarly Kitchen and David Crotty for sharing this fascinating video of the history of US road signage.
Why’s it significant for us? Because a region’s culture is hard-wired and if we want to communicate internationally, then we need first to have an appreciation of where it impacts on what we’re trying to say.
Read and watch on The Scholarly Kitchen
‘Nowadays when I want to search for something, I go right to Tik Tok … and Generation Z is doing the same.’
Are Google’s days of having c95% of the world’s search market numbered, as Hubspot’s article suggests? The argument is pretty compelling. This week’s tip is to watch this space.