Conversations Already Happening

March 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

The New New Yorker

by Courtney Hilden

Midway through lunch, Alexander sat me down to work on a new project, which was basically collecting promo materials for our next three books, making what is called a sales kit.

I started with the first thing, which was finding articles on the books themselves or on the topics the books were about.  I’m one of those rare freaks who enjoys researching, so I was off and running on this project.

The idea of collecting articles is simple: when the distributor goes to sell our book, he or she needs to understand what he is or she is selling.  In collecting articles on the book and topic, we as the publisher give him or her the context of the book, or, as my boss told me “the conversations already happening.”  It also helps the distributor get a better sense of who would be interested in buying a particular book, as certain kinds of online blogs, journals, newspapers and other sources write reviews of books and articles on topics based on their demographics.

As I sat down at the computer in my cubicle, I realized the article I had been reading before this meeting was perfect for one of our books.  The article was from a Black man talking about why we need feminism and the book I was working on is, in part, a Black man talking about why he’s a feminist.  The article in question did not go in depth the way maybe the book does, but that is okay.  The article was a good primer, and like the boss said, a part of a conversation already happening.

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