Collective Bargaining

By: Wesley “Godfather” Hunter

In today’s market, the costs are high, the profits are low and the talent pool is greatly over crowded. So, just what is a publisher to do?collective

 Everyone’s got their own brand, their own label, their own publishing house, publishing company, imprint, division or WHATEVER. Everyone’s gone DYI on the fly and trying to find their way as they go. And, if they’re anything like me, they’re wasting a lot of time and money as they do.

Publishers, imprints, divisions, etc. Often work as a clique, a club or, for lack of a better term, a modern-day urban book publishing gang. Creating or hallucinating these imagined barriers which keep one group from working with the next. However, if Willie Lynch taught us nothing else, he taught us that to be divided we are already conquered. NO MATTER WHAT EXCUSE WE USE TO JUSTIFY OR DEFEND OUR DIVISION.

Networking, sharing resources, co-op advertising, joint product negotiations, etc. these are all areas where publishers can come together. Let’s say five publishers need books printed: one needs 500, another needs 2000 and still another needs 5000 books, etc. And this collected group of publishers decide to come together and approach a printer with one collectively huge order, explaining the total numbers and the promise of repeat orders of the same/similar/larger size in exchange for a continued overall discounted price (percentage).

NOTE: This offer could be extended to, say, 10 different printers to create a bit of a bidding war. This same collective bargaining technique can be used to put together a pool of editors which the publishers agree to choose from, where the editor agrees to a certain price/percentage discount in order to be added to the select list. The same for cover designers, on-line promoters, etc. This can even be used in purchasing ad. space in magazines, where the group agrees to purchase so many pages in so many issues and then divide or rotate the use of that space among themselves. It’s not about who likes whom, it’s about the collective power of unified numbers, it’s about business, it’s about common sense and money.

To really take it to the next level, the group could also share each others links on social media. It’s no different from having a bookstore where you carry and promote a bunch of different books. Especially if you are in-between products or your personal sales have slowed. Because, soon it’ll be you pushing a new piece and you’ll need the help: A favor for a favor.

Yes, there’s true power in numbers. Need I say more?

 

 

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