"Now, get out there and sell it!" I've heard this exhortation a time or two. Or was it a prayer of desperation? The first-time or inexperienced author is always overwhelmed at the complexity of a well-published book and how it all impacts sales. Those of us in the publishing community take it for granted. It's either in our DNA, or we've seen and experienced so much success and failure, that its now like walking through our own house in the dark.

Did you think about how your title would impact sales? How about your Table of Contents? Your subtitle? (oh yeah, that!) The spine? (That part of your book the shopper is most likely to see.) How about archaic graphics and illustrations? Did you think about your target market or are you expecting people to buy that old line of "this book is really for anyone" or "there is no competition for this book?" I can go on and on.

If you've decided to enter the domain of the bookselling marketplace, I have news for you. Its a lot like horse racing and politics. Professionals can't always know what will succeed in the market, but we can spot a sure loser when we see it, almost without fail.

Professionals can't always know what will succeed in the market, but we can spot a sure loser when we see it, almost without fail.

They have "tells." Whether its a book buyer at a national chain or the local independent bookstore, they can't be fooled. This is a process for professionals, unless you're John Grisham or Stephen King. But wait, they'd hire professionals, too. If your book is important to you and your business, find a professional that "gets you" and you can trust. Someone that will be open and honest about your book, and your expectations.