Just over a decade ago, most print-on-demand (POD) service providers were cutting their baby teeth. It was exciting; it felt good to be a subversive, if small, cog in disrupting an industry where six traditional publishers (now the Big Five) had long decided, in no uncertain terms, what readers read and how. During the reign of traditional publishers, indie and hybrid publishing were dismissed as “vanity.”
We live in a world where content is king. Businesses know one of the most important pieces of information they need to have is their content strategy. Without one, how are people going to find out about your business? Successful authors are not just people who write well—they’re people who think of their writing career as a business. Like any successful business, authors need a content strategy.
Self-aware authors know they're taking on a challenge when they choose to self-publish a book, a rewarding and exciting challenge, but a challenge nonetheless. With advancements in technology and opportunity and a lessening of the bias against self-publishing, every author now has a chance to succeed in the publishing space doing it on their own.
Your author website is your primary online presence, your brand, your “home” and your author platform. This is where people will come to find out more about you and your books, which gives you an excellent opportunity to present yourself and your books in the best way and to brand yourself. You can do it somewhat on Facebook and other social media sites, but your website is the only place you have complete design and editorial control. Make the most of it.
Your writing has value. You don’t know whether it’s worth $10 or $10,000,000, but your work deserves protection just like your car or home. While the legal aspects of writing can be intimidating, a basic understanding of what you own (and don’t own) is key to protecting your rights. So here are the basics.
We have some special opportunities to help you get the most out of BookExpo and/or BookCon 2018 at the Javits Center in New York, NY, May 31 – June 3! How does your own personal consultation sound? Or perhaps reading from your work on stage?!
I once spoke with a gentleman who had written and published a book on terrorism’s threat to our water supply. As we discussed avenues for marketing his book, this gentleman remarked that mostly academicians had purchased the book, which he found scary. Here was an individual who had the knowledge and the foresight to write a book on an important subject of concern to our country, and yet he did not recognize the position this placed him in. The first thing this gentleman needs to do in marketing his book is to accept the fact that, since he wrote the book, he is now the expert on the subject of how terrorism could affect our water supply.
Have you heard of Abraham Maslow’s Need Hierarchy? It describes a pyramid of needs through which people move as they are motivated to fulfill unmet needs. The foundation is made up of the very basic needs (security, food, etc.) and people advance ultimately to self-actualization. Believe it or not, the same concept applies to book buying from business-to-business (B2B).
It seems simple enough: a media contact or blogger, online reviewer, etc. requests a copy of your book. So, you toss it into an envelope and send it off. Request fulfilled. Done. Well . . . perhaps not so fast.
You’ve finished your book and now it’s time for the often-dreaded task of marketing. Where to begin? Step one is to obtain book reviews—and not just the kind your friends and family post on Amazon. While such crowdsourced reviews can be helpful, savvy readers—and more importantly, booksellers, librarians and other industry professionals—will be looking for more credible reviews.