Selling Books in the (Continuing) Great Recession by Edward C. Patterson

17 Aug

Lord John Maynard Keynes, the Father of Modern Economics. "What goes down doesn't necessarily go back up."

A while back, I began a series on selling books in the Great Recession. We’re in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It affects everything we authors and Indie publishers do. (Not to mention causing the demise of major brick-and-mortar retailers such as Borders.) I ran a few articles in the series, but stopped when it (briefly) looked like the recession was lifting. But, goldurnit, it didn’t. As we face a double-dipper economic flop, we need advice on marketing more than ever. 

Today I welcome another guest speaker in my series, Selling Books in the Great Recession. Edward C. Patterson is an incredibly prolific and talented author who captures the emotional truth of everything he writes. He’s also one of the most effective––perhaps relentless––marketers I’ve met.  I know Ed from participating in a very popular Amazon forum, Shameless Self Promotion. He shines at extremely tasteful promotion that makes you want to buy his books. I have several of Edward Patterson’s books and love them. It’s my great pleasure to introduce Ed Patterson to Your Shelf Life.

Sandy Nathan for Your Shelf Life

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Edward C Patterson, author & founder of Operation eBook Drop

In today’s economy, there is a need to focus on books in eBook formats, while relegating the print formats to a backup. Sounds a bit dire, however, as an armchair publisher and Indie author, the cost of toting your books about to bookstores and managing inventory returns will make you tired and frustrated. Meanwhile, using online Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Sony as distributors and leveraging their easy accessibility, an author can break through the morass of the collapsing Book Industry hurdles. Your works can make it to a reader on such things as a Kindle. With lower overhead (zero is a nice number), an author can afford to price works between $ .99 and $ 3.99 and attract attention. Of course, you must have the goods and you still need to market your work, which means getting the word out over the online networks, getting feedback and spinning that feedback to keep the work in motion. Print copies are still functional for readings, speaking engagements, donations, and your ten favorite friends and, dare I say it, as a foil to show how much readers are saving when they buy your work electronically. Heck, I hawk a Cherokee poetry book at Powwows.

I keep my print version costs down by using a POD. (Print on Demand printer) If an author’s aim is to get rich, the current recession has little bearing on it. It’s actually easier to sell books directly to the public over the web through now than it was in boom times, when you needed to follow stuffy industry rules — rules that the traditional publishing houses are now realizing are their Achilles’ heel. The problem is, most authors are poor marketers and, in good times or bad times, that means that some great reads will not find eager readers. It means that authors must wear another hat to engage potential readers in the online fray. However, it’s a heck of lot better than carting a carton about to an Indie bookstore. It’s a sight more productive than fishing for an agent and lighting a votive candle at an acquisition editor’s altar. These trends were in progress before the recession, but I predict that the downtrend and the inevitable recovery will leave the Book Industry significantly and permanently changed — a far better place for those who author and for those who read.

Edward C. Patterson

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The Works of Edward C. Patterson

Edward C. Patterson has been writing novels, short fiction, poetry and drama his entire life, always seeking the emotional core of any story he tells. With his eighth novel, The Jade Owl, he combines an imaginative touch with his life long devotion to China and its history. He has earned an MA in Chinese History from Brooklyn College with further post graduate work at Columbia University. Born in 1947, a native of Brooklyn, NY, he has spent four decades as a soldier in the corporate world gaining insight into the human condition. He won the 1999 New Jersey Minority Achievement Award for his work in corporate diversity. Blending world travel experiences with a passion for story telling, his adventures continue as he works to permeate his reader’s souls from an indelible wellspring.

His novel No Irish Need Apply was named Book of the Month for June 2009 by Booz Allen Hamilton’s Diversity Reading Organization. His novel The Jade Owl was a finalist for The 2009 Rainbow Awards.

This link takes  you to Mr. Patterson’s Amazon Author Page, which provides links to his books and information about them. Published Novels by Edward C. Patterson include No Irish Need Apply, Bobby’s Trace, Cutting the Cheese, Surviving an American Gulag, Turning Idolater, Look Away Silence, The Jade Owl (Jade Owl Legacy Series Book I), The Third Peregrination (Jade Owl Legacy Series Book II), The Dragon’s Pool (Jade Owl Legacy Series Book III), and Southern Swallow Series (Book I – The Academician). Southern Swallow Series (Book II – The Nan Tu)

Coming soon: Southern Swallow Series (Book III – Swan Cloud; Book IV – The House of Green Waters), Belmundus, The Road to Grafenwöhr, Oh, Dainty Triolet and Green Folly.

Look also for The People’s Treasure (Jade Owl Legacy Series Book IV) and In the Shadow of Her Hem (Jade Owl Legacy Series Book V).

Operation E-Book Drop: Providing Our Troops with Free eBooks

Operation E-Book Drop: Providing Our Troops with Free eBooks

Edward C. Patterson is a proud founder of Operation eBook Drop, a member of Amazon’s Shameless, Kindleboards, Publetariat, The Independant Author’s Guild, The Gay & lesbian Writers and Readers Group, and has guest blogged extensively. He has also appeared on the Bobby Ozuna – Soul of Humanity Show.

Mr. Patterson’s website is Dancaster Creative.

No Responses to “Selling Books in the (Continuing) Great Recession by Edward C. Patterson”

  1. mountainmama August 17, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    Great interview with one of the pioneers of indie publishing. Ed’s taught a lot of us the basics. He is caring and sharing and an amazingly witty guy. Hats off and thanks, Ed!

  2. Sylvia Cutler August 22, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    August 22, 2011. The important thing about writing is it needs to be something you’re passionate about, concerned about, worried about. It has to have meaning for you! Mine is what’s happening to teenagers today.. They have so much more to contend with than we had as we were growing up. Peer pressure, peer ridicule, teasing, bullying, pressure by boys on girls to give up their virginity, drugs, liquor, and whatnot are ever present. My new book, “When Not to Kiss!” (Kate Rose Carson; published August 2011; deals with these issues. The protagonist—Hadley Brown—and her parents seem to have a grasp on what the issues are, and how to deal with them. Hadley, a smart fourteen, goes into high school with not a clue about what might happen, but learns quickly. Ups, downs, resolution! Check it out.