Crafter's Companion: our secret weapon • 24 May 2007 • The SnowBlog
Crafter's Companion: our secret weapon
Check this out. This is the most recent of many excellent reviews of The Crafter's Companion. Snowbooks' strategy has always been to publish books that we think readers will like enough to buy (simple, huh?) To hedge our bets, we publish both fiction and non-fiction. The idea is that fiction, if it works, works really well: a novel or thriller has the capability of selling 50,000 units if it takes off (which is what happened with Adept). The downside is that if it doesn't start to sell within a few months of being on the shelves and tables, it's very hard to make it sell at all. On the other hand, four-colour non-fiction will probably never reach those heady heights of tens of thousands of units sold in the first year, but it does tend to sell ten units a week, then thirty, then if it's good fifty, then a hundred. Non-fiction burns slowly, but for a long time.
It's what happened with Boxing Fitness, of which we've now sold 11000 units. No promotion, no fancy price discounting, just a good, useful book, sitting on the shelves, selling modestly and reaping the benefits of that good ol' word of mouth phenomenon. I was sitting at my little stand at the Seni martial arts show all weekend and overheard at least a dozen people point to Boxing Fitness and say 'oh, I've got that. It's a fantastic book,' to their mate. I'm sure sales will rise over the next few weeks as those friends get round to buying themselves a copy.
And so it is with Crafter's Companion. We did quite well with it over Christmas, but only now is it coming into its own. A steady feed of excellent reviews, and people talking about it on their blogs, and before you know it you've got a quiet, steady bestseller on your hands. None of this ra-ra-ra hype: it sells because it's good. Not only that: it wouldn't have existed without our own editor, Anna, commissioning each chapter, editing the writing, taking the majority of photos and essentially creating the book from scratch. Now that's the sort of publishing I like.