[Note to readers: We recently shared with our readers some more negative commentary from Ann "A.C." Crispin (Click here: Ann “A.C.” Crispin’s 2011 BEA Observations: Industry “Weinerdog” Still Struggles with Truth & Deceit ) We are pleased to have received this letter from Strategic Book Group Author, Mike Saxton which addresses Ann Crispin's negativity towards Strategic Book Group and its authors. Victoria Strauss has also made her own comments regarding Strategic's presence at BEA 2011. For the record, Ann Crispin and others, including Victoria Strauss, were defendants in a lawsuit initiated by Strategic Book Group. Ironically, Ann Crispin's latest work, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Price of Freedom, has a lifetime Amazon Ranking of 3,709,949. Its worst rank was 10,051,407. Comparatively, Strategic's Mike Saxton's work, 7 Scorpions: Rebellion, has a lifetime Amazon Ranking of 65,159. Its worst rank was 174,828. Now you know why Ann Crispin is a "Weinerdog." (Saxton has also out performed Victoria Strauss' last publishing effort.) Good for you you Mike. You have put this all into it's right perspective by demonstrating how to measure success as an author. Your long-term vision certainly competes with the narrowly-focused view of Ann "A.C." Crispin (Click here) who appears to think that benchmarking long lines for her autograph has some kind of merit to it. For more information on Amazon Sales Rankings, click here. ] When reading Ann “A.C.” Crispin‘s blog postings, even historically, notice her use of “Me,” “Mine,” “My” and “I.”
The question was posed to me recently how I did at the Book Expo of America. Not a surprise, I heard that question a lot. This time it was different however. There was an underlying intention. Upon further probing, I discovered there were serious misnomers about those of us who attended the BEA with Strategic Book Group, who is my publisher. I would like to set a few things straight, from my point of view.
I knew when I attended the BEA that I am an unknown author. The purpose of going was not to have lines out the door to see me. That’s unrealistic. There were many authors there, both known and unknown. I went there to network and to enjoy being in New York City. This is but a piece of the marketing puzzle to become known. I was successful in both. I was not there to pick up an agent. I was not there to shop for a new publisher. I have a publisher. They’ve treated me extremely well, despite rumors to the contrary.
As far as what I was able to accomplish, well, here it is. I gained the interest of some of the big bloggers out there. Book bloggers have become a force to be reckoned with so that was a hope of mine. I connected with several High School librarians who were also interested in my writing. That’s good, because locally, I have donated copies to High School libraries including the New Haven Academy and I have received excellent feedback. There were others, but I did not see their nametags. On top of it, two people from a film company Los Angeles stopped by the table not once, but twice. They left with a signed copy of my book as well as my card. Maybe they were only interested in who my cover designer was, who knows? The reality is, it’s only been a couple of weeks since the event ended and it is a pipe dream to believe that there would be some crazy deal with anyone worked out in such a short amount of time. Matter of fact, the reviewers probably haven’t even had a chance to open the book yet!
The point is, my goal was the realistic one of making connections. Goal met. Period. During my time at the signing table. I was quite busy, as were others around me. Did someone walk up to me and hand me a million dollars? No. If someone had, I would have been suspicious.
I was also asked why I went with my current publisher. If people don’t wish to give my writing a chance because of who publishes it, feel free to pass me by. I won’t enter into a philosophical debate. I have no regrets about going with Strategic. I am really not out to shove my writing into the faces of people who just aren’t interested. I’d rather have 100 people who love it than have a million people who hate it and feel as though they got ripped off.
I can’t speak for the experience of others but anyone entering new into this field is going to be doing a heavy amount of the marketing of their book, no matter who their publisher is. I knew that coming in. I researched the publishing industry for six months prior to going with Strategic. It was the route for me. I am not some hapless victim who didn’t know what I was doing. If that’s a problem, again, feel free to pass me by. When I pick out what I am going to read, I do it based on the merit of the individual volume. I love the “look inside” feature on Amazon and many authors (including me) post samples on their websites. Scope it out. If you don’t like what you see, keep it moving, no regrets.