"We published it when the media was focused on breaking news, so we couldn't get any traction publicity-wise.”
“Who knew the Dow was gonna drop 300 points that week?"
"We didn't know there would be four other titles on the same subject coming out at the same time. Media fatigue."
"We had to change the tour at the last minute because of the author's family commitments."
"We didn't get any reviews."
"We got reviews, but they were all lousy."
"Reviews came too early, no one remembered them."
"Reviews came too late, the books were already returned by then."
"We should've bulked it up. It looked too thin."
"We should've used thinner paper. It looked too thick."
"It should've been a trade paperback original."
"The trim size was too small -- it got lost on those front-of-store tables."
"The trim size was too big -- booksellers couldn't display it on their cash-wraps."
"The cover was beautiful but it was all wrong for that book."
"We priced it too high for the consumer."
"We priced it too low for the discounters."
"We gave away too much content up front. People didn't need to buy the book."
"We needed more content on-line. People didn't know what they were getting."
"We spent too much on print advertising and not enough online."
"We spent too much online and not enough on radio."
"We spent too much on radio and not enough on print."
“The author’s website is lousy.”
"It was the wrong subject. People want to escape reality, not dwell on it."
"It was fiction. People don't want stories, they want something practical."
"When we bought the book, we thought it was going to be something completely different."
"It was too long. Readers have short attention spans."
"It was too short. Readers want to immerse themselves in a book."
"The on-sale date was bad -- we published it too soon."
"The on-sale date was bad -- we waited too long."
"Due to weather, we had a sloppy lay-down and missed the on-sale date in some key markets."
"We didn't get out enough copies. No one could find it when the publicity hit."
"We got out too many copies -- it looked like a failure because the stacks didn't go down fast enough."
"The author's previous book was huge. Expectations were too high."
"The author's previous book was a bomb. No one wanted to give this one a shot."
“The sales force was never on board.”
“The sales force got too enthusiastic and took the numbers up.”
AT THE POST-MORTEM:
"The American reading public failed us yet again."