VII.  Reasons SPU Declines, Part II

  • Quotes on the front and/or back covers are not from people with impressive credentials

    It's a common mistake to have quote from a teacher or child on a children's book, but unless that teacher has nationally recognized credentials or the child is a star somewhere, it hurts the book more than it helps.
  • The book has no spine

    If a book can't be identified by its spine, it most likely won't be stocked.
  • The format does not fit the category or age group

    For example, a hardcover fitness book that lacks an author with a history of sales is less likely to be considered than a reasonably priced paperback. Similarly, a children's picture book with pages that have large amounts of text no longer works as a picture book.
  • The book's immediate consumer appeal is overestimated

    A book may make sense to be sold following the author's hour-long speaking engagement, but may not be impressive enough to be picked up off the shelf without someone having heard the author speak.
  • The book doesn't stand out

    While it may be a good book, it does not stand out as more salable among the books that are already on the shelf.
  • Reasons for Declining Part 1

  • Book awards that carry no weight in the marketplace are touted on the cover

    Second-rate book awards mean nothing to consumers and work against publishers in the trade market. They indicate a lack of sophistication in the industry. Buyers then assume that lack of sophistication extends to editing, promotion, etc.
  • The book is inappropriately priced for the category and format

    It is obvious that many publishers do not do their research before establishing a suggested retail price for their book. If the price isn't competitive, it won't be considered by a buyer.
  • Fiction is a tough sell

    A good book from an author with limited credentials and no big plans for promotion is very difficult to sell to our customers. Poetry may be the only thing tougher to sell than fiction from a first-time author.
  • No ISBN or bar code

    Any book that lacks an ISBN or proper bar code will be automatically rejected by most accounts.
Additional Information

If you would like to learn more about the publishing industry and receive advice on how to produce and market a book for sale in the book trade, please consider joining and using Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) at