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Notes from a Small Press by annetrubek
The backlist--named after the place in a publisher catalog where the titles are listed--are books that were published at least six months earlier. Most sales for a book occur while they are on the frontlist (you probably can guess where that terms comes from), specifically during the first 90 days after publication date, though many of those sales occur in the month or two before publication, in those initial orders placed in anticipation. When a title is a frontlist, it's costing publishers money and time: we are paying off printing bills (usually the highest single expense), publicity costs, marketing, designers, proofreaders--all those items that are figured into the P&L, or profit-and-loss statement. And we are thinking about how to do all those things better, and biting our nails. But after six months or so, that time and those costs subside, and the book moves to the backlist. All the costs have been paid off, and it consumes less of our mental energy. Which means each time we sell a copy of a backlist title, a much higher percentage of the revenue goes straight to our bottom line. One backlist sale equals about three frontlist ones in my mind.
september 2019 by copystar
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