Monday, June 25, 2007

bad [non-existent?] new-product development

Not strictly e-marketing, but I got it online, so ...

Yesterday I was killing time in Waterstones and came across a series of business books called 'essential managers:' which covered a series of subjects [eg marketing]. Being only small [and cheap] I wondered if I couldn't rattle off an e-marketing-related title. So today I went to the publisher's - Dorling Kindersley Books - web site to check them out. Now, normally on publishers' sites there is a section that tells you how to submit a proposal for a book. Or at least contact them to discuss a book. However DK - or their parent company, Penguin - do not want to hear from potential authors. No unsolicited manuscripts, they say. OK, fair enough, they do not want piles of fictional dross arriving at their office. But - and it is a big but - they also publish non-fiction. Whatever the subject, there must be an element of review, discussion etc before such a text is even OKed, let alone published.

So I went to the US site. On its site the rather blunt message re submissions is finished off with:-

"Different markets demand a different approach, and non-fiction, reference publishers such as DK require writers to be experts in their fields. However, we wish you the best of luck and hope you have every success in placing your work."

But I am an 'expert in my field' because I have already got my name on two academic texts [academic texts being some of the hardest to get published]. What about a simple line " ... but if you have a track record in publishing in a subject area we would like to hear from you" ?

Guess what DK / Penguin? This 'expert' takes your attitude as an insult to what I have already achieved. It is also presented in a somewhat rude fashion. I only wanted to create a dialogue about writing a book for them. Surely writing and publishing is mutually advantageous - one can't do without the other? Perhaps this explains why the
'essential managers:' series' latest title is 2003, with most being published in the last century?

I would normally drop this at this stage, but I am intrigued as to how DK recruit new authors [they have a lot of 'reference'-type books] so I am going to send some emails. I'll let you know the results.

And if anyone from DK reads this [yeah, 'cos I bet you monitor online reputation management software
] maybe you need at least one 'essential managers:' book - on social marketing [look it up in one of the books. Oh, no you can't - there isn't one].

Update #1 - I couldn't find any email addresses suitable, so I wrote a letter.

Update #2 - reply to letter within a week, inviting me to send in a CV.

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