Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Wanna make a MILLION BUCKS?

If I were a young man, which I'm not, and wanted to make a lot of money, something I never craved, I would take advantage of the slump in the publishing business. Isn't that what the big-buck boys like Warren Buffet and Donald Trump say to do, capitalize on the problems of someone else?
A Washington Post story highlighted the issue. For the first time more self-published books were released last year than were sent into the pipeline by the large trade publishers, whose output was cut by more than three percent. The big outfits are laying off people. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has stopped buying manuscripts. Some are turning to print-on-demand technology for certain books.
Borders, one of the two largest book retailers, is having problems but still has to acquire books for its shelves. So does Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million and all the other retailers, including Walmart and Target.
Now here's my idea. Three or four energetic young people with a little capital and loads of ambition jump into the field without having the overhead of a publisher or a retailer. They would produce a catalog on slick paper listing. . .oh, let's say the top hundred self-published books. A super salesman would call on the book buyers for all the brick and mortar stores and online sites. Small ads would run in the New York Times book section, reviews would be sent to Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and anywhere else that might lead to sales. The outfit that handles library recommendations would be high on the contact list.
Where does the money come in? The young entrepreneurs would figure that out. A percentage, an upfront sum, the opportunities are numerous.
Another possibility is a bulk publisher such as PublishAmerica that accepts almost anything will jump in and do it first. A lot of the writers would leap at the chance, but many of its books are crap while a few are as good as anything from a major publisher. Only the best of its 30,000 or so books could be used. The upfront money would come from the writers.
Will one scenario or another become a reality? Bank on it, and soon. With the publishing business in a state of flux, there's money to be made with a new approach. Somebody will make it.


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