On the surface, The Making of a Blockbuster is about the publishing support that helped make the book The Hunger Games a bestseller. But it's also about the kind of support children's publishing can give books, period, though, of course, not every children's book gets it. According to the article's author, Salon's Laura Miller, "children’s book publishing operates quite differently from its adult counterpart" in that regard. "With the right title, a kid’s publisher can deploy something the world of adult publishing can only dream about: a large, well-oiled and highly networked group of professional and semi-professional taste makers who can make that book a hit even before it’s published."
A couple of random points that particularly struck me:
Twenty thousand children's books are published each year. This explains why every book doesn't get Hunger Games treatment. Assume there was enough money to give twenty thousand books that kind of send off--wouldn't the people within the system who receive the arcs and spread enthusiasm eventually go deaf from all the buzz, some of which would certainly be unjustified? You know, just statistically not all twenty thousand books can be great. At some point, the people being told they are will realize that.
"The only thing that reliably sells books is word of mouth..." "Advertising and reviews and flogging on Facebook or Twitter don’t help much unless the author already has a large following." I've been hearing the part about advertising and reviews not selling books for several years now. I've had my doubts about Facebook, but seeing that line was particularly demoralizing since we spent the end of last week converting my professional Facebook page to Timeline and trying, unsuccessfully, to get Facebook share buttons onto my blog posts.