New York Sales Conference

Kirsten and I are just back from our distributor’s — Consortium Book Sales and Distribution (CBSD) — semi-annual sales conference in New York.  About 100 folks in all show up including staff from CBSD, our sister publishers, and the sales reps.  The main focus is on the publishers presenting their upcoming season’s front list to the sales reps, in this case for Fall/Winter 2013-2014.  In addition to to highlighting the 4 titles in our Fall/Winter 2014 season we used our allotted 8 minutes (not kidding) to establish that Torrey House has dropped our regional focus, is a now a national environmental publisher, and that we will be flipping our ratio of fiction to nonfiction from about 5:1 to the other way around in the coming years.

celebrate with indies_20The main buzz around Torrey House was that Charlie Quimby’s Monument Road had just been selected as one of 12 titles in the American Booksellers Association’s Celebrate Debut Authors with Indies promotion.  The ABA’s BookExpo America (BEA) conference is at the end of this month and they would like Charlie to be there and CBSD urges one of us from THP to go.  So the rush is on and Kirsten is headed back to New York to tout our wares at BEA.  More on this after the ABA announcement coming up in a few days.

We learned a few more tidbits in the breakout sessions.  I was wondering if we have any ability to change e-book prices once the print book price is set and the answer is yes, we do.  We will experiment at some point a bit with that.  We were also wondering if independent booksellers could see our titles on Above the Treeline’s popular interactive publisher catalog Edelweiss, and the answer again is as of just recently, yes they can.  In the session on e-books I was heartened to hear that Amazon’s rapacious growth in market share is plateauing as well as the that of e-books in general.  A big question I would like to blog about later is if Wall Street will ever require Amazon to be profitable.  I think it will and when that happens the stock price will plunge and the playing field will be leveled a bit.  But it hasn’t happened yet.  There was also a  session about getting publicity but maybe not enough about effective publicity.

I admit I’d rather go camping, or just about anything for that matter, than go to New York.  It is a personal failing.  But the weather was gorgeous and I got to hang with my favorite editor, meet some other publishers, get an industry update, and tout our wares.   The first day while Kirsten was meeting with Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, I walked from our hotel on 34th to the conference at The Poet’s House down by the new World Trade Center building, about 3 miles.  Part of my walk was on the new High Line walkway, a converted elevated train track with lots of trees and native flora.  The thing was jammed with people, many with cameras, seemingly overwhelmed by all the green growing things.  See?  Even in the big city, folks are aching for a little more natural landscape in their lives. Love of the land. -Mark Bailey

About Torrey House Press

Torrey House Press is an independent nonprofit publisher promoting environmental conservation through literature.   We believe that culture is changed through conversation and that lively contemporary literature is the cutting edge of social change. By building and engaging community in the conversation of conservation, we make our contribution to, as Wallace Stegner hoped for, a “society to match the scenery." THP books are distributed by Consortium Books Sales and Distribution, a subsidiary of Ingram Content Group.
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2 Responses to New York Sales Conference

  1. Congrats on all the changes and shifting to national environmental focus. There are several MFA programs that have programs in environmental writing; you may want to contact the faculty of some of those programs and ask them to have their best students submit their MFA thesis manuscripts to Torrey House for consideration. Another thought, as I sit her brainstorming, is that it would be fun sometime to have an event at Prescott College, co-hosted by THP and Alligator Juniper, where people would come to hear readings, attend classes, and participate in workshops on environmental writing. Tom Fleischner would be a great contact for such a thing, and the college’s new Natural HIstory Institute, which is pretty much Tom’s baby, could also play a role. Fundraise for Torrey House, Alligator Juniper, and the Natural History Institute. Environmental Writing conference in Prescott!!

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