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William Manchee

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Highland Mystic (The MacLomain Series- Early Years)
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Books by
William Manchee

Deadly Dining

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Desert Swarm


Tarizon: Shroud of Doom

The Prime Minister's Daughter

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Disillusioned, A Stan Turner Mystery Vol 9

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Unconscionable, A Rich Coleman Novel

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Undaunted, A Stan Turner Mystery

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Blogs by William Manchee

Nine-Eleven's Impact on the Small Press Author
7/3/2011 7:53:06 AM    [ Flag as Spam or Inappropriate ]

Nine-eleven changed publishing forever and dealt a near death blow to the Small-Press author.

Book marketing has changed dramatically since I began writing in 1995. The internet, print on demand, and ebooks were not a factor, so there was a lot less competition for the brave, or foolish, authors throwing themselves out onto the publishing highway in hopes somehow, against all odds, breaking out as a NY Times best selling author.

It was actually a lot more fun back then because the publishing industry seemed to admire our courage in stepping out amongst the eighteen wheelers rolling down the highway at 80 mph. I remember being at a Bouchercon in Philadelphia on a panel sandwiched in between Paul Levine and Bonnie MacDougal, and feeling pretty proud after getting a glowing introduction from the panel moderator for my latest legal thriller, Brash Endeavor. The next day I was even approached by a couple of real agents interested in possibly representing me and wondering what I was working on.

Even when my publisher went bust and filed for chapter 7, I didn’t get discouraged as I was always welcome at any Barnes & Noble across the country as I had made the “good-guy list.” So, I set out to become a best-selling author the hard way—selling one book at a time at Barnes & Noble, Waldenbooks, or Hastings all across the country. In five years I went to over 200 stores in 48 states, but it was an exciting adventure and my wife and I enjoyed every minute of it.

During this time we, of course, hit all the trade shows and conventions and got up too many times for those 6 a.m. TV interviews. I’m a night person, so those were murder but I obviously couldn’t turn down any free publicity. A few nice reviews for Second Chair from Publisher’s weekly and Library Journal finished off five fun years.

Then my son, who was trying to become a professional golfer, went to Trinidad-Tobago for a tournament and I tagged along for the adventure and to give my son moral support. Little did I know that the trip would be so exciting that I had to turn it into a novel, Trouble in Trinidad. I was thrilled because a major TV station in Houston had promised to have me on their morning show to kick-off the release of the book on September 15, 2001.

Not only was the release of Trouble-In-Trinidad, which ironically is about a terrorist plot, completing derailed by the tragedy but publishing as we knew it changed forever. This was particularly true for the small press authors like myself who were dependent on the goodwill of the bookstores to survive. Now, suddenly booksellers and distributors were struggling for survival and any goodwill and tolerance for the small press author evaporated.

What this meant in practical terms were bookstores who usually would buy 50 or 100 books for and event and keep them until they sold, suddenly reduced there orders to only what they thought would sell at the event (10-20). Worse, every bookstore in the country facing dwindling profits started returning any book on their shelves that wasn’t a sure bet to sell in 30 days. This devastated many small presses and distributors and a lot of them didn’t survive the year.

For me it was the demise of my distributor that hurt the most. Not only did my publisher forced to write-off a lot of money that was owed, its sales arm had suddenly been cut off. At the time I was hopeful that somehow things would turn around. Little did I know this was just the first blow to strike with the worst yet to come.

To be continued...

William Manchee is the author of the Stan Turner Mysteries and Tarizon Trilogy which is available in print, ebook, and audio format.
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More Blogs by William Manchee
• Why Many Intelligent and Talented People Fail in Business - Monday, May 07, 2012
• Getting the Mail Can Be Risky Business - Friday, May 04, 2012
• Consumers Suffer Grievous Injury When Creditors Improperly Report Their Credit after Bankruptcy - Thursday, May 03, 2012
• The Effect of Print on Demand to the Small Press Author - Monday, July 04, 2011
•  Nine-Eleven's Impact on the Small Press Author - Sunday, July 03, 2011  
• Has Your Mortgage Company Ripped You Off? - Saturday, August 07, 2010
• Wrongful Foreclosure - Tuesday, February 16, 2010
• Don't Throw Away The Evidence - Friday, January 15, 2010
• Brandy - Saturday, October 17, 2009
• Why I Write in Different Genres - Wednesday, August 12, 2009
• Cash for Clunkers Bad Idea for Many Consumers - Monday, August 03, 2009
• Beware of Debt Negotiators - Tuesday, May 05, 2009
• Top Ten Reviewers - Tuesday, April 28, 2009
• Debt Collector Put Out of Business In Texas - Sunday, April 26, 2009
• Defending the Small Business - Part 23 - Changing Your Ways - Tuesday, April 07, 2009
• What Every Bankruptcy Filer Should Know - Part 3 - Will Filing Bankruptcy Ruin Your Credit? - Thursday, March 19, 2009
• Defending the Small Business - Part 22 - Bookkeeping and Accounting - Wednesday, March 11, 2009
• Chill, It's No Big Deal - Sunday, March 01, 2009
• What All Bankruptcy Filers Should Know - Part 2 - Wednesday, February 25, 2009
• Defending the Small Business - Part 21 Form of Business - Thursday, February 19, 2009
• What Every Bankruptcy Filer Should Know - Saturday, January 31, 2009
• Defending the Small Business - Part 20, Getting an Attorney - Sunday, January 25, 2009
• Defending the Small Business - Part 19 - Employees, Double Trouble - Sunday, January 11, 2009
• Defending the Small Business Under Siege - Part 18, Loan Consolidations & Workouts - Sunday, January 04, 2009
• Defending the Small Business: Part 17 - Bankruptcy: Friend or Foe? - Monday, December 29, 2008
• Tarizon: The Liberator Launch Update - Friday, December 26, 2008
• Defending the Small Business - Part 16 - When the Constable Knocks - Friday, December 05, 2008
• Defending the Small Business - Part 15 - State & Local Taxes - Saturday, November 22, 2008
• Defending the Small Business - Part 14 - Dealing With IRS Collections - Wednesday, November 12, 2008
• Defending the Small Business - Part 13 - Uncle Sam, The Sleeping Giant - Thursday, November 06, 2008
• Defending the Small Business - Part 12 It's Not As Bad As It Looks - Monday, November 03, 2008
• Defending the Small Business - Part 11. Misfortune - Tuesday, October 28, 2008
• Defending the Small Business: Part 10. Competition - Thursday, October 23, 2008
• Defending the Small Business. Part 9. Theft & Embezzlement - Monday, October 20, 2008
• Defending the Small Business - Part 8. Greedy Lenders - Sunday, October 19, 2008
• 7 - Defending The Small Business: The Credit Conspiracy - Saturday, October 18, 2008
• 6 - Defending the Small Business - Giving it away. - Thursday, October 16, 2008
• 5. Defending the Small Business: Starting on A Shoe String - Wednesday, October 15, 2008
• 4. Defending the Small Business: Suffocation - Tuesday, October 14, 2008
• 3 - Defending the Small Business: Looting - Monday, October 13, 2008
• Understanding the Current Economic Meltdown - Saturday, October 11, 2008
• 2 - Defending the Small Business - Doomed From Day One - Saturday, October 11, 2008
• 1 - Defending the Small Business: Introduction - Friday, October 10, 2008
• The Stan Turner Mysteries - Sunday, March 25, 2007

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