When I Attended Kristen McLean’s Workshop I Wanted to Stand Up and Cheer!

by Barbara Ross, 2012 President of Sisters in Crime New England

Over the years, I’ve attended marketing workshops for writers on Social Media, Branding, Self-Publishing and a host of other “marketing” topics. I took these skills onboard, but I still felt like the proverbial blind man trying to understand the elephant by touching little parts of it. Despite an almost twenty year career that included partnerships with all the major college textbook publishers, and a second career as an author and small publisher, the “whys,” the “hows” and the “wherefores” of the decisions traditional publishers make eluded me. And self- and e-publishing felt like the wild west. I was convinced nobody understood it.

Until, as a part of the pilot class for the Grub Street Launch lab, I heard Kristen McLean speak. Kristen is a publishing insider with an outsiders’ perspective. After eighteen years in traditional publishing, she was asked to write a book analyzing how traditional publishers make decisions–from first moment when they consider your proposal or manuscript until the book is purchased by a consumer. But in studying the topic Kristen concluded that the publisher’s model was obsolete and irretrievably broken.

As Kristen considered the rapidly changing world of publishing, she saw a model emerging with empowered authors at its center. But to be empowered, authors need knowledge and data, so she founded a company to provide both of those.

You will leave this workshop, not only with a better understanding of the world of book buying and selling, but also with concrete and actionable skills.

Just for example, did you know that:

  • There are more than 31 fields of metadata that go with your book?
  • That titles that are listed by their publishers with all the metadata complete and correct sell 98% more?
  • That titles that include cover images in their metadata sell 268% more?
  • That titles that meet the standard, have a cover image and include enhanced metadata sell 2600 units more on average than those that do not?
  • That fiction sales are the most impacted by poor data practices?

If you are a self-pubishers, are you providing the right data? If you are traditionally published by any size press do you know how to check your metadata and get it corrected or completed?

This is just a tiny window into what you will learn.


Kristen McLean will be doing a workshop on February 10, 2013. Sign up here.


About JH Authors

J.A. (Julie) Hennrikus writes the Clock Shop Mystery Series (JUST KILLING TIME (2015), CLOCK AND DAGGER (2016), CHIME AND PUNISHMENT(2017)) under the name Julianne Holmes, the Theater Cop series (A CHRISTMAS PERIL(2017)) as J.A. Hennrikus, and the upcoming Garden Squad series as Julia Henry. Julie is an arts administrator and arts advocate. She tweets her writing life as @JHAuthors, and her other life as @JulieHennrikus. She is on Instagram as @JAHenn. Her website is jahennrikus.com, and she blogs with WickedCozyAuthors.com and KillerCharacters.com.
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