|I wanted to talk about success. Historically, (in the book business anyway), the success of a book was defined by the number of sales in its first few months. A title needed to come out strong having accumulated lots of pre-orders and a slew of publicity. The graph of sales over time peaked high and early, and then tapered off to nothing, when the publisher pulled the book from circulation and it went out of print. When ebooks and digital print-on-demand came along, publishers were able to keep a book “in-print” into perpetuity, because they didn’t have to invest in more print runs for books that were only selling a few copies a week. This model worked for a while in the industry, (it doesn’t anymore, by the way). For Central Avenue, this was rarely the case, and I struggled early on, trying to make my success look like this. When it inevitably didn’t, it led to me trying to fit this square peg into the round hole, which it never did.|
You may or may not know that I’m a numbers person. I spent my career in market research. I’d like to share with you the sales trends of a few of our more successful books (their identities are hidden, of course!). I think the value in seeing these is that it exemplifies that the path to success isn’t the same.
This first book follows the more traditional trend where it took off quickly but petered out to slower but stable sales.
|This second book came out slow, but started selling more due to some viral social media posts and then continued to experience those blips of activity.|
|This third book really just trucked along for a long time, but gained momentum due to word of mouth and then hit a tipping point and really took off.|
|These are just three of the almost 200 books I’ve published and I firmly believe that every Central Avenue book has a role and a degree of success that contributes to the whole of this press, and I’m proud of all of them. The reason I’m showing you these is because I want to remind us all that the path to success is not the same for every book or every person. Some of us come out strong early, and others take a while to find their groove. So, no matter what you do, stay your course, knowing that while your path might look different than someone else’s, it will lead to a successful contribution and it does make the world a good and better place.|