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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Year of the Ox

It's 2010 and it's the start of something new. It's the start of Golden Ox Publishing. I thought I'd try what many other blogger's have done before me and chronicle the start of this new venture. Where to start?

I've started a book publishing company - Golden Ox Publishing. I started it to publish my upcoming book, Deliver On Your Promises - Success Through Business Operations Excellence. I started it because I wasn't entirely happy with the publisher of my first book (The Small Manufacturer's Toolkit), a large, international publishing company. Yes, they were very good at some things, basically all the things involved with book production, but when it came to marketing and selling they fell woefully short. It's a good looking book, I have to say, but it was overpriced from the beginning and didn't sell well. Also, I learned one of the big secrets of publishing with the big companies. You, the author, is primarily responsible for marketing. Although they have all the knowledge and resources for marketing books, they are mostly reserved for the best sellers. As an unknown author in a niche subject, you get pretty much nil. Not completely, but it sure felt that way.

I kept telling my contacts at the publisher that the book was overpriced. I wrote it for a specific market, which I know pretty well, Small Manufacturing companies and the owners, managers, and others who work there. Priced at $79.95 originally, they were not going to sell in large quantities to this market. So totally ignoring my requests to lower the price, they actually raised it, to $93+. Can you believe that? I couldn't. I tried and tried to get them to lower the price, but to no avail, and sales were going nowhere. That meant that not only were the books not getting into the hands of the people who can really use it, I was not getting any royalty payments. I know the book is good, and useful, because I have gotten nothing but great feedback and reviews. The book had very positive reviews in three trade magazines; APICS - The Association for Operations Management, ASQ - The American Society for Quality, and IIE - The Institute for Industrial Engineers, who apparently have changed their name recently (I'll try to find copies and/or links and put them up on my website). And the feedback I've gotten from people who bought and read the book has been great.

Since I was getting nowhere with the publisher, I asked them if I could buy the rights back to the book and maybe the remaining inventory. Being a large buerachracy, there was a lot of back and forth with questions and offers and counteroffers, but I finally got it. I obtained the rights to the book (print version, not electronic) and bought all the remaining inventory. Now the fun begins.

I was planning on starting the publishing company to publish my next book, but it's starting now with my first book. I have the rights and I received the first couple of boxes of inventory. Now I have to market and sell and plan on what to do next. That's what this new thread of this blog will be all about. I'll lay out my plans and keep you up to date with my progress. Please feel free to let me know what you think. This is going to be what they call "a learning experience." And, of course, if you want to buy a copy just let me know (but as for now please check Amazon first). That will be the subject of another post...

Oh, and I will be lowering the price to a more appropriate and reasonable $39.95.

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