Informative and disturbing, the webinar offered useful advice for writers -- both published and yet to be. Here are some of the main points:
* A total of about 270 to 275 Borders are expected to be closing - or about 40 percent of the chain's 650 stores.
* Borders has traditionally been a supporter of mid-list books. The reduced store count will influence future decisions publishers make about which books to publish.
Here's an abbreviated and somewhat depressing sort of flowchart:
* Fewer bookstores = fewer books will be sold = publishers will acquire fewer books = smaller print runs = reduced royalty fees paid to authors.
Now for some suggested action items to help writers adapt to this new world order:
* Arm your editor to advocate for your book.
* Explore direct-to-consumer options - such a book clubs - especially if you already have a following.
* Educate your prospective or current publisher about alternative markets for your book (e.g. niche stores, museum stores, etc.)
* Identify your book's USP (unique selling point). What makes it stand out over comparable titles?
* Find out what your position is on the list. Where do you rank? How can you improve your rank/visibility on the list? Try to connect directly with your publisher's PR/marketing people to develop a plan.
* Self-market. It's probably more important than ever to build a platform for yourself and your books: Join associations, participate on Amazon Central, join Listmania on Amazon -- as well as speaking, touring and social networking.
* If your books are out-of-print - and rights have reverted to you - convert them into e-books.
For more on the financial implications of the Borders bankruptcy, here's an interesting article from Daily Finance.
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So -- If you're wondering how the new Jane Eyre film adaptation fits in with the Borders debacle - it doesn't. I was just longing to rhapsodize about Jane Eyre, and needed an evocative image for this post. As one of countless women who lost myself in the book as a young girl, it's a nostalgic treat to revisit Jane, and I hope the film will be the catalyst for a new generation of girls to discover her.
In case you missed it, there was a great story about the many film versions of Jane on the front page of last Sunday's New York Times Arts & Leisure section.
Any other advice for writers on adapting to the new market? Fond memories of reading Jane Eyre as a young girl -- or boy? Please comment, and while you're here, why not a become a follower?
Check back soon! More on Jane as well as the blog tour for Quacky Baseball (new picture book by Peter Abrahams, illustrated by Frank Morrison, HarperCollins Children's Books) coming up...