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des
Posted on Friday, October 07, 2005 - 12:28 am:   

Still basking in the reflected 'glory' of the latest reviews of Nemonymous Five!

I recently wrote to as many previous Nemonymous writers as possible to rustle up reviews (from friends/contacts) of the issues in which they appeared. I am planning to disseminate these reviews myself. Thanks to those few who replied - but (despite the incentives!), I've not yet heard back from enough of them. I am doing this, as I am now trying to sell each separate anthology anew.


Recently, I wrote that I shall not be issuing Nemonymous Six Submission Guidelines until I am satisfied that sufficient previous anthologies (including NEMO FIVE) have been sold ... whether this takes days, weeks, months (or even years!).

I can foresee this being years, I'm afraid, at the present rate. Seriously. :-(
des
http://www.nemonymous.com
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des
Posted on Friday, October 07, 2005 - 04:25 am:   

Depending how you see the above announcement, some may in the future (if anyone thinks about it at all!) see that, in hindsight, it was an announcement about Nemonymous folding.

And that may be true. Although I hope it isn't.

It's not a question of finance - although, financial covering of costs is important. I can practically do a Nemonymous Six (should I wish) *today*.

It seems logical to me. If Nemonymous doesn't sell at least sufficient to cover its costs, then it is simply not good enough - whatever the reviews say.
des
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Brendan
Posted on Friday, October 07, 2005 - 08:39 pm:   

Des -

I still think the problem is not the product, but distribution.

Might I suggest selling some copies to distriubtors - or trying?

Cold Tonnage is a great one in the UK.

In the US there is Shocklines.

There are many others also.

Just an idea.

Project Pulp was a great move. I think you should take it to the next level.
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des
Posted on Saturday, October 08, 2005 - 12:52 am:   

Thanks, Brendan. Cold Tonnage do have a number of signed copies to sell (signed by me, that is!).

Based on its current inability to cover its costs, I say 'Nemonymous' is simply and logically not good enough - however the reviews say it *is* good.

I am not throwing good money after bad by doing a Nemo Six (which I dearly would like to do and can do), until previous anthologies do cover their costs.

And 'Nemonymous' in the second sentence above covers *all* aspects of Nemonymous, including my mad Internet cavortings and flawed distribution. In this context, I had two Nemo 5 authors write to me yesterday saying how frustrating it is not to be able to push Nemo 5 in their own real names. This is another handicap. The philosophy (gimmick?) that works for Nemonymous also works against it.

Having said all that, I do expect, *eventually*, for previous Nemonymous anthologies to cover their costs. And Nemonymous Six will exist sooner or later.

Thanks for your comments, Brendan. Taken on board and appreciated.
des
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Jetse
Posted on Saturday, October 08, 2005 - 04:29 am:   

I fully agree with Brendan (actually, I was one of the people trying to convince Des to use Project Pulp), and apart from Cold Tonnage there are -- in the UK -- also Chris Reed's BBR-distribution, and Bob Wardzinsky's The Talking Dead.
In the US, apart from Shocklines, there's also CarkesWorld Books, I believe Borderlands books in San Francisco are always willing to take a few copies, there's The Genre Mall, and I'll probably be forgetting a few more.

It would get the megazanthus to people that have never heared of it before.
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Anonymous
Posted on Saturday, October 08, 2005 - 06:41 am:   

Historically, when does Nemo sell the greatest number of copies of a particular issue?

The six months after publication? Or the six months after the names of the authors are revealed?

Is there a bump in sales when the mask is pulled off?

Just wondering whether there are customers who don't like playing the anonymous game and wait to see what they're buying before they buy it.
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Brendan
Posted on Saturday, October 08, 2005 - 11:57 am:   

Des -

Why not push previous issues using people's names?

For instance, I notice on Project Pulp that if I search for someone who is in Nemo. 1 or 2, Nemo doesn't show up though other publications for there work do.

Why not use some of the names of people to sell copies? Why not follow Jetse's advice and shoot off some e-mails do distributors? I really think you are selling yourself short by not expoiting these angles.

You could even e-bay some sets of Nemo.

I think you need to just get it out there - so people have easy access to it. Borderlands and Shocklines are certainly well worth trying.
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des
Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 02:21 am:   

Thanks for the suggestions. Much appreciated.

However, *if* people want more Nemonymi, they simply need to buy the existing ones. I'm basing this as an objective yardstick of my effort and investment.

I and Nemonymous are inextricable, and I'm selling not only Nemonymous itself but also selling the way I sell it! They stand or fall together. I have accepted (within myself) the 'fall' is more likely than the 'stand', but I will be delighted if it is the other way about.

I can only do what I do because I'm me. Without me, a strange entity such as Nemonymous would never have existed in the first place. :-)
des
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Brendan
Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 05:12 am:   

I understand what you are saying Des, but I still don't see how finding more distribution channels works against the principles of the Nemo. And, if you are publishing stuff, I think that you need to also take into consideration the fact that you are publishing the writing of other people. Giving people's stories maximum exposure seems to me to be the correct goal for any publisher.
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des
Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 05:53 am:   

Yes, Brendan, - but I reckon as a gut-feeling that, over 4 or 5 years, for every one purchase enquiry I received, I received about 50 submission enquiries!

So if, through my methods (which I already feel are adequate), I managed to reach out to, about, say, 1000 people with whom I actually corresponded, only about 20 copies were sold. The rest were only concerned with submission guidelines.

And in this context, please remember that most readers of Small Press outlets are also writers or budding writers.
des
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des
Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 06:02 am:   

In other words, most of my potential purchasers know about Nemonymous (and read the many wonderful reviews) but chose not to purchase it.
Fair enough. But that's why I've now drawn a line in the sand. *If* people want more nemo anthologies, then I need to sell all the existing ones. Simple and logical. An objective yardstick for me to judge the success of my past efforts and investment.

After all, this is not a big deal, I only have to sell 500 of each anthology.
des
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Brendan
Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 06:03 am:   

But there is a bit of a contradiction here. On the one hand you want to sell more copies, on the other you consider the methods adequate. I hope I am not sounding like a jerk, but I wouldn't be posting if I was not concerned about Nemo.
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des
Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 06:08 am:   

Brendan, I really appreciate all your feedback.
Your last post crossed with my last one. I hope that clarifies.
des
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des
Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 06:21 am:   

Last word (for now). I don't know who the submitters are when they actually submit the stories as they are judged anonymously.
Submitters and subscribers cannot therefore be correlated, and they know that! Some may be influenced by that knowledge, even if subliminally. I have no means of knowing if they do.
des
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neil a
Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 06:38 am:   

Des, I see you're spreading your melancholy.

It seems like a lot of people are telling you the same thing and you're the rejecting the advice out of hand. Also, as contributors, I think Brendan and Jetse's stances are more importnat than (almost the exact same ones) Chris and I have assumed on the TTA boards.

http://www.ttapress.com/discus/messages/570/1661.html?1128950584 (Brendan's last post even succinctly boils down my latest spiel!)
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des
Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 06:45 am:   

I can't say how grateful I am to folk like you, Brendan, Chris, Jetse, Anonymous etc. who care enough about Nemo to come on here and comment in the way they do.

I still maintain - and I've thought about this long and hard - that now is the time to draw a line in the sand. I feel the Nemonymous constituency already know about Nemonymous to a large degree. Widening that constituency might bring in a few more purchases. It just needs people to realise - if they are a writer - they are also a potential purchaser. This doesn't mean they should buy Nemo cold - but they can listen to the many reviews over the years - and then purchase it, without thinking that I'm sitting here agog waiting for their submission guideline enquiries instead! I get LOADS & LOADS of submissions and submission enquiries, and a only a gradual drip drip of sales. Fact.

I'm *not* moaning about that. All I am simply saying is that *if* people want more Nemo anthologies, then I need to sell the existing ones. It's only an if. And I can live with the fact, at one possible extreme, that nobody might want more Nemo anthologies. It's all rather logical.

The print run for each antholgy has always been 500 each.
des
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 08:13 am:   

Des,
I don't believe you responded to the question as to when you actually sell the most Nemos--immediately after publication or after the author names are revealed.
Also, from all you say above it seems as if you have no interest in expanding your market to those who are not writers who might like the mag/antho. This I just can't comprehend at all.
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des
Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 08:28 am:   

I may have it all wrong. I'm mulling...

I don't think what I say should come across as 'pessimism', but an optimisim that I can put a line in the sand and say I want to sell this great product. Buy it. Or if you don't buy it, I'll know I'm wrong how great it is. I'm putting Nemo on the line - with confidence.

I believe the Nemonymous constituency is mainly the hundreds and hundreds of writers I come into contact with in one way or another because of Nemo. Extending beyond that would not lead to 'economies of scale'. I may be wrong, as I say.

And, Ellen, thanks for your comments. I've not really noticed any difference between pre- and post-denemonisation. It's a generally smooth and slow graph of sales throughout, and still goes on today for all previous four anthologies. There is always an upsurge of sales right at the beginning of each anthology, as there has been for Nemo Five recently. I don't know what all that says.
des
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des
Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 08:56 am:   

Another factor: much of the advice given is, I feel, in the context of a magazine and subscriptions - whilst Nemo, with its format of which many of you are aware, has evolved into a series of separate traditional print-run anthologies which make up an overall on-going megazanthus (with the denemonisations linking them) - and I'm trying to sell them as separate books over the long-term. This may better explain my 'line in the sand'. Any small publisher of traditional stock of finite print-run books might do this, I feel, prior to continuing or finishing his business.
des

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des
Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 09:26 am:   

Also, I think I am out of my depth with the Nemonymous I have created!

Various discussions today seem to point that way.

des

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Brendan
Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 11:55 am:   

But Des - Why would you want writers to be your constituency? I mean, personally, I want non-writers to read my work. I think this whole idea about writers being customers is one of the main pitfalls that small press publishers get into.
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Brendan
Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 11:55 am:   

Oh, and thanks for your thanks!!! :-)
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des
Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 12:25 pm:   

Hi, Brendan, I don't necessarily want writers (of varying stages in their career) to be the *only* constituency - I just think they inevitably are the only constituency for Small Press outlets ... in the main. A valuable constituency, of course.

To extend beyond that constituency for something like Nemonymous would take methods quite beyond my ability and would not be conducive to its 'economies of scale', in any event.
imho.
des
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 12:50 pm:   

Des,
I don't think that's true at all. Look at Kelly Link's work. Her first collection was published by Small Beer Press and she has been published in major venues and celebrated by many readers--not only writers. Part of the reason is that she and Gavin, her husband and publisher of Small Beer drive all over the US so that she can meet with bookstore owners, do readings, signings etc. She is visible and making a great effort at launching a career that is becoming major.

I'm not suggesting you run around the UK doing readings or organizing signings for Nemo but there are marketing strategies that can expand your readership beyond "writers" and "would be writers."
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des
Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 12:53 pm:   

Hi, Ellen, I'm sure your 2nd para can be correct in certain circumstances - but, sadly, it is quite beyond me.
des
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des
Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 12:59 pm:   

Also, it wouldn't be possible with the methods of Nemonymous - unless I have a complete rethink as to its philosophy.

Meanwhile, I'm sitting at my 'line in the sand' waiting for customers to cross it in modest numbers and buy one or more of the existing Nemo anthologies based on the reviews they read. If they don't, there won't be any more Nemos ... whatever the truth of its potential constituency.
des
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des
Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 11:42 pm:   

Having slept on it, I'm of the same mind.
I reckon I have about 250 copies of each of the previous anthologies left, which must mean I've sold or given away (as review copies) about 250 of each. Not bad. The many good reviews over the years have helped.

The world encompasses millions of writers or would-be writers; hundreds and hundreds of them already know about Nemonymous, judging by my in-box and feedback I've seen on the net. To extend beyod this constituency would be counter-productive and/or beyond my abilities. My marketing and distribution (specially now with Project Pulp involved) are adequate already.

If I don't sell the remaining anthologies and a good many more of No. Five, then it's because they are not good enough (however much the reviews and others so kindly praise them). So for me it's a win win situation. I sell all the remaining stock and start up Nemonymous Six OR I am prevented from throwing more good money after mad. So far, I've already made a considerable financial loss or, looked at another way, I've made a very long-term investment, depending which way it goes.

I think, naturally, the Nemo anthologies are so bloody good, the remaining stock cannot fail to be sold. See you around, then, when I issue Nemo Six guidelines.

And thanks again to all those who have and are still supporting Nemonymous with their purchases or advice.

des
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des
Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2005 - 12:10 am:   

Meanwhile, there will be a series of substantial reviews of each of the five anthologies that I am arranging.
des
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des
Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2005 - 04:17 am:   

An advert has just been put up on Jai Clare's blog:
http://www.thecuspofsomething.blogspot.com/

I sense a big push generally for Nemo welling up...
des
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des
Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - 12:35 am:   

Sorry, everyone, for all the nemo-navel gazing recently.

Someone recently said I owe it to the authors to get out there and sell Nemo. True.

Indeed, the authors. Yes a priceless debt owed by me for their stories (although I did put a price on them - 25 pounds in 1,2&3 and 45 pounds in 4&5 per story, however short the story). Their stories have already been read in the 1000 long-lasting Nemo artefacts that have been sold and their stories still reside in the 1000 unsold Nemo artefacts which *will* be sold eventually. Approximately.

I also owe it immensely to Andy Cox for his role in interpreting and actioning my wild ideas in the product you actually handle and read.

And to the artists Garry Nurrish and JaNell Golden for covers of 1, 2 & 3. Garry did design of 1&2, too. And myself for the covers of 4 & 5.

I also owe it to the readers so that I can get something to them I *know* they will enjoy and cherish forever (without too much trumpet blowing!).

And I owe it to the anonymous editor and publisher of Nemo (ie never named within nemo). And what I am doing now and promising to do (or not do) I feel is for the best for Nemo and for him.

Sounds crazy (even self indulgent). But if you read this whole thread, I think it's all coming together to make some sort of sense. So I owe it to thread participants, too. Thanks. And thanks to all those I've forgotten in the heat of this moment.

Other than news and review reports, you'll never hear such heartfelt nemo-meanderings from me again.

Nemo Six submission guidelines will eventually be issued in accordance with my modest needs for the 'line in the sand'.

des
http://www.nemonymous.com

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Jamie
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 12:24 pm:   

Des,

I sent an e-mail to a friend and non-writer about your review offer. I never heard back from her. I'm seeing her this weekend, I'll give her a prod.

And maybe I'll prod my writing while I'm at it.
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des
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 01:48 pm:   

Thanks, Jamie.
des

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