Guangzhou, China (PressExposure) July 01, 2010 -- The publisher's techniques for book promotion have become increasingly sophisticated in all advanced countries. The typical traveler or book salesman is likely to hold a college degree, certainly in the United States; he receives a careful briefing from the home office, with elaborate samples and sales aids, and perhaps a care provided, or partly provided, by the firm. The itinerary for calls on bookshops (or. in the case of the educational representative, schools and colleges) is prescribed by a supervisor, who usually checks the resulting orders against a quota. A well-run publishing house issues two or three seasonal announcement lists with details of its forthcoming books, as well as an annual catalog of its present and past books still in print, which are sent to the principal booksellers and librarians. For many books, a prospectus may be issued, both for the use of booksellers and for direct mailing by the publisher. The distribution of review copies to the press is the last item in the normal program. These three steps, traveling, catalogs, and reviews, are the vital elements in the machinery of book distribution, which it is virtually impossible to accomplish without the professional work of a publisher. The capacity of some authors to produce a quite presentable books with the help of printer still leaves them far from their objective unless they can find a publisher to undertake its distribution.
Newspaper and periodical advertising is the publisher's principal means of reaching the public, and standards here have also risen considerably since World War n. Originally handled entirely by the publisher's own staff, it is now not uncommon for the large houses, especially in the United States and in some European countries, to employ advertising agencies to prepare the copy and the general details of the campaign for any important book. While few authors consider that their books are advertised adequately and most publishers are highly doubtful whether press advertising does in fact sell books, the amounts spent in relation to sales revenue are much higher than for most other commodities, seldom less than 5 percent for new books. Without their receipts from publishers' advertising, some periodicals would find it impossible to devote so much space to book reviews, which are in them a most valuable aid to sales. The news value of distinct from the literary, pages of a newspaper. A publisher with imagination, or the firm's press officer if there is one, can often suggest aspects of a book susceptible to such treatment. Broadcasting and television services, too, can sometimes be interested in books and their authors, and the resultant publicity may then be extremely effective. Over the whole field of sales promotion, as publishing houses have grown in size and profitability, there has been a marked tendency for the more commercial methods of general business manner as are many other commodities. Though this may increase sales, at least in the short term, it may be doubted whether it is in the interests of the public and to the long-term advantage of good publishing.