Brian Hibbs' latest column at CBR is up (check it out here), and it's a good one.
In it, Hibbs identifies what he feels to be the five factors that most affect whether a book will be a success in the direct market.
1) A quality product2) delivered in a timely fashion (both in the sense of "on time" as well as "at the right time")3) producing material that is not identical to material already on the market4) with an appropriate amount of promotion, advertising, and publicity to let interested audiences know that the material is being produced5) at a profitable margin for retailers.
While obviously most of you folks can't address #5, how do #1-4 sound for you? Does that list make sense? Or do you have some factors of your own that you think should be noted?