During the past week we’ve seen news about self-publishing in prominent national media, and regional Pacific Northwest media.
As a book marketing consultant, I take an eagle-eye look at self-publishing news, and thought I’d share some of what I’ve seen in the past week.
If you’d like to learn about my special marketing services for self-published authors, please <click here>.
Here are some of my favs:
From the Pacific Northwest:
Self-Publishing Takes off With Seniors: The Columbian
"Getting older seems to bring out the author in people. And seniors are discovering the booming self-publishing industry is their path to every author’s deepest desire: a book."
Comments: I’ve worked with many seniors during the past year and I understand their unique challenges and concerns. Please contact me at (971) 266-3515 if you’re a senior and are looking to market and promote your self-published title.
Self-publishing offers an array of choices for authors: The Spokesman-Review
Comments: Great overview of the industry with resources for soon-to-be self-published authors in Eastern Washington.
Self-Publishing: No Longer Just A Vanity Project: National Public Radio
"They used to call it the "vanity press," and the phrase itself spoke volumes. Self-published authors were considered not good enough to get a real publishing contract. They had to pay to see their book in print. But with the advent of e-books, self-publishing has exploded, and a handful of writers have had huge best-sellers."
Comments: A great feature with anecdotal stories - no real new information here.
2012: the year of self-publishing: Christian Science Monitor (blog by Husna Haq)
Comments:No new information; a fine piece for those unfamiliar with developments in the self-publishing industry.
Another First for Self-Publishing: Forbes Magazine
"We learned earlier in the year at Digital Book World that in 2012, self-publishing took a $100 million bite out of U.S. trade publishing revenues in 2011. Sounds like a lot but isn’t much compared to the nearly $14 billion in revenues the book business made in the U.S. that year. This year, the number is certain to be more."
Comments: That’s about the extent of any “news.” Like the Husna Haq piece, this one is referencing NY Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani’s decision to make a self-published book a choice for “Book of the Year.” A first ever decision by the paper, but arguably not surprising in that it’d have to happen sometime, and frankly, there are more self-published novels being produced than at any other time in history.
Twitter for Authors: Is it even possible?
This Meetup is for both authors and book marketing professionals to network, share tips and encouragement - and to get people thinking about their book marketing project well before their publication date.
For more information: click here
Email theneocomgroup (at) gmail dot com if you have any questions.
Tuesday’s Book Marketing Meetup at the Bare Bones Cafe has been amended.
We had a legitimate “act of god” preventing our self-publishing professional from presenting on Tuesday. We are penciling him in for two-weeks from Tuesday (July 31). That said, we’ll go with the alternative programming.
Based on the feedback from our first Meetup we are making some subtle changes. For starters, we’ve picked a quieter venue in order to hear one another better.
We’ve selected a place that serves food, beer and wine.
We’ve created an agenda so we can control the flow of the evening.
Feel free to bring an example of a marketing plan for your book, a copy of your book, business cards, etc - and we can put you on the spot and discuss as a group.
Email or comment below if you have further questions/comments.
Book Marketing Meetup
Date: July 17th
Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Location: Bare Bones Cafe, 2908 Southeast Belmont Street
Happy Hour: ends at 6 p.m. so arrive before 6 p.m. if you wish to partake
5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Arrival, order food & drinks, etc
6:00 p.m. Formal Introduction (bring business cards and we can trade)
6:15 p.m. Group Share (books, marketing plan, etc)
7:00 p.m. Informal Group Discussion
7:30 p.m. End (people are welcome to hang out longer)
During the past few months I’ve worked as a marketing consultant for over a dozen new authors and I’ve seen a disturbing trend among them all: authors are publishing their books without any sense of how to market them after they’ve been printed and listed on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.
A note to all soon-to-be self-published authors - stop what you are doing right now. Don’t publish your book without a marketing plan. No, stop. Don’t do it. Opposite of Nike.
Because people have short attention spans and because the internet is dumbing down the way we think about complex problems, I’ve created a handy list of three things self-published authors need to think about before they publish, all related to marketing. This is by no means a complete list, but if this rescues just one author from falling into the tiger pit of non-marketing, then I have done my job.
1. Think about your target audience. If you just logged 3,000 hours to write a book, don’t you want people to read it? If the answer is yes, then you need to put some serious thought into your target audience and plan accordingly. After you’ve asked yourself the obvious questions (who will read my book? what niche audiences might like my book? are there organizations that might want me to speak with them?) then move onto the planning phase: How will people learn about my book? How will people share information about my book? How can I “brand” my work so that it appeals to my target audience? The answer is that you NEED to have a website and you need to get involved in social media. Stop fussing with this advice and just do it. You’re worried about seeing results? Guess what, I don’t see immediate results when I go to the gym either, so get over it.
2. What is News? Do you remember the fundamentals of news? What is one of the most important requirements for a news story? Answer: whatever the news reporter is talking/writing about has to be news. If you published your book this week, last week, last month or last year you are already making it significantly harder to get a book reviewer to read your book. Why? Because it is no longer news. Don’t make it harder to promote your book than it already will be. Make your official release date at least 3 months after the day you get your first printed (or completed electronic) copies and send review copies out with plenty of time to spare.
3. Use social media. I really hate arguing with people over this one. I agree that sitting in front of a computer already hijacks too much daylight and I am constantly looking for ways to wiggle out from behind my desk. The reality is that social media is a necessary evil and also a required tool for any book marketer and you really need to begin building your fan base on social media 12 months before releasing your book. I can share tons of anecdotal success stories, or you can just take my advice, and make everybody happy.
Before I sign off, and because I like lists, here are my top three recommended social media tools for book marketers and promoters:
Stay tuned for further information from the world of book marketing and consulting, and always feel free to ask questions if you want a more detailed explanation.