If you’re a writer, you’ve probably thrown around the pros and cons of self-publishing more than once or twice. Maybe you’ve even bought into the myths that traditional publishing naturally gets you more recognition, or that you’ll make more money with a real publisher. But all this is changing. It’s easier now than ever to find your specific audience and build a direct relationship with them.
When I was getting serious about writing a few years ago, I thought that if I kept at it, I’d eventually get “discovered.” A lot of authors think this starting out.
We picture ourselves toiling away at our art until suddenly a publisher appears from the shadows and sees the genius. “Ah ha! You’re what the world’s been waiting for!” And poof… we’re the next Steinbeck or Rowling or King.
When Phillip Pullman resigned his patronage of the Oxford Literary Festival, he took a stand for all authors. Think about it: authors are the bread and butter of lit conferences. The wait staff, the AV guys, everyone else gets paid. Why shouldn’t writers who are invited to share their expertise and provide valuable content to the organizers get paid too?
“You’ve got to be on social media,” says every marketer ever.
At this point, that’s a given. Being on social media today might be more important than having your own website. Recently search engines like Google have been ranking content shared on social media sites higher than content posted on blogs and individual sites.
Search engines tend to favor sites with a lot of traffic and your personal blog can’t reach nearly as many people as Twitter or Facebook.
Take a look at these following examples:
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.
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.
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 was in Williamsburg, Virginia last week for a business conference. I decided to bring my wife along and once the conference was over, we explored the old colonial town of Williamsburg.
It was amazing seeing the shops, taverns, government buildings, and living streets of a colonial town. It really gives perspective to how far along we’ve come.
A reader recently reached out and asked what to do with a pile of rejection letters. He was feeling discouraged, even though he’d gotten many compliments on his book, and he was looking for some alternative publishing platforms. Here’s what I had to say…