Thursday, 25 February 2010

How books are sold

On 24th February, I attended a seminar held by The Society of Authors on How books are sold: What published authors need to know, which covered:

In the chain from publisher to reader, who is involved, and why?
When it comes to making money from the sale of a book, who gets what and why? Online bookselling: does it boost or risk destroying the market?

Representatives to discuss the above were:
Phil Edwards, Senior Buying Manager of Gardners, the UK's leading book wholesaler;
Fiona Kennedy, Head of Non-Fiction at Waterstone's, the UK's leading specialist bookseller;
Simon Skinner, Sales Director of Nielson BookData.

Being a new member of the Society of Authors, I didn't know what to expect. However, I was impressed, as the event was well organised, well attended (at least 500 people) and very informative.

I was particularly interested and somewhat inspired by Fiona Kennedy's presentation. Waterstone's are going through a period of transition and seemed open to hearing the audiences' strong views and opinions. What Waterstone's look for in a potential book is: content, cover, price, track record, E-book version, local market, new talent, new voices, and alot more.

I came away feeling that the book industry was less of a mystery!