On May 21, 2014, the Authors Alliance will hold a kick-off meeting at the Berkeley Center for New Media. From their announcement:
Authors, construed broadly to include all creators, create for all sorts of reasons. In academia in particular, it is not uncommon to write and create primarily for the specific purpose of being read, seen, and heard.
Strategic negotiating requires you to ask questions, listen and then move ahead based on this new information as the second five of 15 tips discussed. Here are the last five of 15 tips for negotiating large-quantity book sales: 11. Do not move too quickly. There will be times when all the details seem to fall into place and your enthusiasm leads you to accept an order before you have thought it through. Can you really deliver the expected quantity on time, with the requested customization at the agreed price? Is there a penalty if you do not? Can you fill an additional order quickly if the initial quantity moves faster than expected? 12. Do not give in to ultimatums. Your prospect may say that you have to sign now or lose the order. Even if you know the terms are satisfactory, resist the temptation to agree too quickly for it could minimize your negotiating position in future deals.
Negotiating is a function of people and chemistry as the first five of 15 tips discussed. Here are the second five of 15 tips for negotiating large-quantity book sales: 6. Anticipate questions and objections. After several negotiating sessions you will be better prepared for the tough questions that arise unilaterally. These may be about price, quality and delivery. Be prepared to handle those you anticipate as well as those you hear for the first time. Always answer honestly, but in a way that does not reduce your bargaining power. 7. Ask for clarification if necessary. Do not assume you understand the intent of every question you are asked or statements made. If your prospects ask, “How can your proposal lead to a successful conclusion to this promotional campaign?” Ask them how they define success. Is it an increase in sales? Revenue? New customers?
Negotiating a large sale of your books with a professional corporate buyer is not easy, particularly when you are not experienced at dealing with them. The 15 tips described over the next three blog entries will help you navigate the variety of personalities and circumstances with which you will have to deal, now that you have made the transition from publisher to consultant.
For example, some buyers may recognize you negotiating naiveté and try to take advantage of it. They might say, “We may use coffee mugs for this campaign. If you will match the price of the mugs we might do business with you.” Inexperienced authors/consultants may drop their price quickly to get the order. The tips described below will help you turn these tables so you do not leave money on them.
Every negotiation is different. Each has different objectives, people and budgets, so there is no one path on which you travel toward a successful deal. Negotiating is as much an art as it is a science. Certainly there are things that you should and should not do, but knowing when to do which is the key.
Learn to go with your gut feelings. Listen to your intuition and you may find a different path to reach your objective. When issues seem purely economic, a little creativity can break often open deadlocked deals. For example, if you find yourself at odds over the price issue. Look for a different way to find common ground. You might suggest they pay one fixed amount now and a contingent amount later based on future performance.
You will run across varied personalities on your path to negotiating large-quantity sales. Some of these people will have a hidden agenda when dealing openly in front of their colleagues, and they may assume a more confrontational behavior. This may result from a desire to perpetuate -- or establish – a reputation as “playing hardball,” and not compromising easily.
They view a negotiation as a zero-sum pie, i.e. “your gain is my loss.” It’s difficult to work under these conditions because it is not in our best interests to point out another’s irrational bias. Try to manage the tension between cooperative actions needed to create value and competitive ones needed to claim it. In essence, the pie must be both expanded and divided.