Book publishing is in a bit of a weird place right now. The internet, much like Gutenberg’s printing press, has put power back in the hands of individuals. The spread of good (and bad) ideas, great stories, entertainment and knowledge has never been so easy.
That being said, there’s also a lot of noise. Finding an audience can be tricky because sometimes the internet feels like a big wide open space that you can shout into without ever being heard.
I saw an interesting job posting on LinkedIn recently. Macmillan Publishing was hiring a Digital Strategist/Product Owner for a “new online self-publishing platform and community.” From the description, it looks like they’re on track to create a competitor to Booktrope.
There’s lots of money to be made after all. Self-publishing is the future because it’s so easy to do. Give authors a community, a platform, and some resources to help with outreach and the technical aspects of online publishing and you’re bound to get a few winners. Take 30% of all book sales with little to no work on your end and boom! you’ve struck gold. It’s worked out for Booktrope so far.
I’ve been getting a lot of emails lately about book marketing. Authors feel frustrated that they haven’t figured out how to “get the word out” about their books as one reader put it. Many don’t have a whole lot of money to spend on promoting their books and they don’t know how to invest their time wisely.
I’ve worked with a few authors over the past year or so on their book marketing strategies. There are three main questions I always want to find out before we get started. These questions form the basis of how successful an author will be and which direction they need to go to find that success.
Hopefully sharing these questions with you will help provide direction in your own book marketing efforts.
Ricardo Fayet, Co-Founder of Reedsy, recently interviewed me for a write-up he was doing on whether or not it is worth authors partnering with marketers. You can take a look at the article over on the Reedsy blog, but I wanted to share the full set of questions and answers here.
If civilization for some reason came to a screeching halt and I could only preserve 10 books for the survivors, the human race would end up reading itself to death. I could care less about survival guides (I’m the stubborn camper who already thinks he knows everything).
No, I’d listen to my heart and grab the following philosophical and literary masterpieces instead. They are the works that shaped my worldview after all.
The social web, advances in physical technology, and the rule of the knowledge doubling curve, are all factors in making word of mouth the authority in communication once again. So much content (conversation, stories, essays, and research) is being produced on a daily basis that it is impossible to archive and standardize.
Oral tradition is once again the rule, albeit in a digital, textual, visual form (blogs, twitter, and tumblr). We’re back to cave paintings and engravings, but in a much more sophisticated way.
When I started seriously writing back in my teens, I could’ve never imagined the road it would take me down. When I defined myself as a writer way back when, I imagined an easy life in a cozy chair with a pipe hanging from my mouth.
That’s right. I thought I’d end up as an academic. It was my impression that unless you made it big as a novelist that’s the only thing you could do with writing. And I thought it would be an easy road.