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Date Posted: 09:49:07 08/04/06 Fri
Author: Masq
Subject: Buffy novels

FYI from the ATPo mailbox:

===

There is bad news on the horizon for Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans. Simon & Schuster, the publishers of the Buffy novels, are thinking of shutting down the line due to increased printing and distribution costs, plus a sag in sales. They currently have decided to release only one book per season -- the first step in cancellation. Can you help spread the word that the fans need to save the Buffy novel line by including the following (or your rewrite of it) on a prominent place on your website? Will you send this to other Buffy websites as well? Thanks for any help you can provide.

= = =

Save our Buffy books.

Simon & Schuster, publishers of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer novels, are thinking of shutting down the line due to increased printing and distribution costs, plus a sag in sales. They currently have decided to release only one book per season -- the first step in cancellation.

The Buffy TV series survived potential cancellation by the WB Network primarily because of the strong support from the fan base, which caused the UPN Network to pick it up. The same can happen for our Buffy novels. As fans we need to buy more novels, to become energized, active and vocal, to tell the publisher and booksellers we want the books to stay on the market.

Part of the problem is lack of availability. Some major booksellers do not carry the Buffy novels. The sad fact is that if the books are not on the shelf, most people who might otherwise buy them, will not. This results in lower overall sales. But you can help solve this problem. Contact these booksellers and request they carry the Buffy line. It may also help to point out that you are an avid reader who buys many books and will patronize only those outlets that carry the Buffy novels. Donít ask politely at the sales counter or help desk Ė those people just work there and have no stake in keeping you as a customer. Ask to see the manager. Tell them you want the Buffy books on the shelf. Then ask him or her who THEIR regional manager is and how they can be contacted. Move on up the line to the corporate headquarters. Find out who makes the decisions on which lines to carry. Often these people go with their own tastes, or the perceived tastes of their customers. Let them know they are ignoring a group of customers with money to spend. And once you get to these people, donít just contact them once. Call them back. Ask what theyíve done in the meantime to get the Buffy line into their stores. Donít let them forget about your needs. Then amplify your voice. Have friends who like the Buffy books? Know people on other Buffy websites? By all means get them involved! Ask them to email, call or write these people. There is power in numbers. Believe it or not, the squeaky wheel DOES get the grease if it squeaks long and loud enough.

The other part of the problem is the publisher. Simon and Schuster, like any other business, is faced with rising costs and seeks to trim itís bottom line. Unfortunately, genre fiction, like the Buffy line, is not thought very highly of in the publishing trade. While it generates a steady income, it lacks prestige. It is where entry level editors often get their start. As such, when the need comes to save some money, they may do so on the part of their business they have the least respect for. As a fan, you need to let them know to save money somewhere else. You need to tell them to better support the Buffy novels.

Give the publisher your feedback. The best contacts are:

Jennifer Bergstrom, Publisher Simon Spotlight Entertainment Simon & Schuster, Inc. 1230 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020

Jennifer.Bergstrom@simonandschuster.com

Or contact her boss:

Rick Richter, President, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Simon & Schuster, Inc. 1230 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020

Also please donít forget the authors who labor to write the stories you enjoy. The pay in genre fiction is lousy. Some of you share books with each other. Please donít. Support the writers by buying every book that comes out. As the number of books sold drops, the authors make less money, and are equally less inclined to write for the Buffy line.

Todayís publishers and booksellers are so large that they have become insulated from their customers. It is in their best interest to try to know what their customers want, but their efforts are far from perfect. It is up to their customers in many cases to inform them of what they want. Get them to realize there is a solid and loyal fan base out there wanting more Buffy novels.

But please remember to at all times be courteous and respectful. This is a business to them. They make money by selling a product to a customer. When you come across as asking them to provide something that you and many others wish to buy, you will often get their ear. But approaching them with a negative tone Ė anything that berates, threatens or calls into question the validity of their birth Ė will only do great harm. One angry fan will undo the positive message of a hundred nice fans.

The future of Buffy novels is in your control. Exercise that control.

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