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#004: The Secret, Hidden World of Book Publishing

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In this episode of the UnPodcast, we talked about the pressures of the book publishing industry, standard advances, and why publishers no longer hold the keys. We also discussed both ethical and unethical ways to hit the bestsellers lists, and why because of them the term, “bestseller” has lost much of its meaning.

Other topics include:

  • Why I was sent to the special ed office when I was in high school
  • How Alison makes my rants and rambles into something cohesive
  • How books on Kindle and Audible sync
  • How to turn 6 printed pages into 2
  • The average number of business books published each year
  • How payola is alive and well in the book industry
  • Why authors need a team
  • Why I do book talks instead of book signings
  • And so much more. . .

    Items mentioned in this episode

  • QR Codes Kill Kittens
  • Kindle Matchbook
  • Audible
  • Clean Print
  • Wiley Publishing
  • ResultsSource
  • Amazon affiliate program
  • Google News
    Video provided by: AtomicSpark
    Audio recorded by: Wayne Cochrane Sound

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    • Jen Gresham

      Enjoyed this, Scott and Allison. Though I must say you’ve now completely ruined my dream of becoming a “best-selling” author–it sounds so dirty now! LOL.

      One question I had: when you did the book talks and had people buy 100 copies, how does that work when you have a traditional publisher? Do you manage the bulk sales yourself, does the publisher do it, or do people have to go through Amazon somehow? And I’m guessing those sales help you get noticed and on shelves, but don’t count towards the best-selling lists since they are bulk sales, yes? (Not that I want to be on the list, totally).


      • Hi Jen!

        For the book tour pre-orders, we’ve used Barnes & Noble, Amazon and 1-800-CEO READ in the USA. Some of them count, some don’t. You just close your eyes and do your best sometimes 🙂

    • Cole

      It’s so frustrating, “best-selling author” farce. It’s the same as people telling me anyone who’s used Photoshop once can call themselves a “graphic designer”, or Dreamweaver a “web-developer.” What’s an even bigger farce is LinkedIn and all the false glory everyone bestows upon themselves. I’ve never seen so much BS. If it wasn’t for needing to network, I’d get rid of that account, I’m about to radially change my page.

    • BTRIPP

      “For me, my backend as an author is speaking. I’m a speaker who writes a book, and my job is to get keynote talks, that’s what I do for a living. That’s the way I make my money, is by doing keynotes at conferences. So the book to me is a loss leader, you know, it’s a 240-page brochure of my thoughts.”

      … that’s pretty much what my one gripe about the new book was in my review!

      I still think the “pitch” should have been moved from the “Conclusion” section to an “About Scott” thing that could have taken up some of those 8 blank pages at the end.

      – B.T.

    • I’ve been using Printer Friendly ( for awhile now. Sounds like CleanPrint is a bit more sophisticated and flexible, so looking forward to trying it out. And maybe include it on my soon-to-be-launched redesigned site.

    • And thanks for the heads up on Kindle Matchup!

      Like yourselves, I love a “real” book, but I also love the convenience of taking my reading along with me on my iPad. I especially love it when ADD insomnia kicks in – I can read in bed without waking the snoring husband.

      I generally buy my “real” books from Amazon (if I can’t get to a local, independent bookseller), and buy most of my eBooks via iTunes, but I do have the Kindle app on my iPad & iPhone (another stroke of Amazon brilliance!) for those books not available on iTunes.

      Looks like Jeff’s gonna be getting a bit more of my book buying $$.

      And Amazon’s gonna let me buy additional formats on previous purchases? Bookworm/techie swoon!

    • I love Kindle Matchbook…I think. The music industry had something similar to it launched earlier this year and it’s been great so far. has a few thoughts I put down on how authors can take advantage of it. Would love to hear from other authors who are using it.

    • Jan Van Haver

      Nice effort to print fewer pages… but as you have a tablet on the desk: ever considered not printing at all and using the tablet to read out e-mails or webpages?

      Going as paperless as possible was one of my new year’s resolutions in 2013. In case you want to find out how that went: I wrote a blogpost on how I did it

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