Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Flying Blind

Tuesday's Galleycat pointed me toward a Slate article from last Thursday titled "Blind Reading."

The title refers to a publisher's practice of selling a book to retailers without revealing the author, the subject or what to expect. This is called selling "blind." It isn't a common practice:
Publishers rarely try to sell a book blind, and when they do, it comes with a promise that the title will make a big splash. Sales reps might keep the details of a blockbuster hidden to make sure no juicy bits are leaked to the press ahead of publication.

It will probably come as no surprise to you that this practice is most frequently associated with the Oprah's Book Club:
Whenever a selection is made, that book's publisher is notified ahead of time, but the information is embargoed until Oprah makes her official announcement. Until then, the publisher can try to sell the title blind.
You might wonder why bookstores would agree to such a deal. The article claims that booksellers want to be sure of being able to get its order filled early on a potential best-seller where having the book available first can be critical to sales.

Read the entire story here.

No comments: