In 2010 the economy was tight. New paper book sales were on the decline. Publishers began backing away from advances and were becoming much more selective in who they were going to publish.
Digital book sales were increasing dramatically. Electronic books were less expensive and free of shipping costs. Brick and mortar book sellers, large and small, were feeling the effects of the shift to online sellers.
The word platform was introduced into the writing arena. This term filtered down from publishers to agents and eventually to authors. There was confusion among the writers because it was unclear what this word meant.
Self-publishing had been looked down upon for decades, but now started on a dramatic upward trend. Authors were realizing a major change was taking place. It was rapidly coming down to who was going to pay for the publishing of their books and whether they were self or traditionally published, they would be the marketer of their books.
The reality of this shift was sinking in and building a platform became the most talked about activity. However, how to do this effectively was yet to be understood. Getting a book on Amazon.com became the trend, but it was quickly discovered that this did not guarantee sales. With millions of books available, how were readers going to find their way to books written by new and unknown authors?
Fast forward to 2014 and this word, platform, is still being unpacked. It is commonplace for an author to be on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest. Yet, if you ask about any author, “How are book sales?” you’ll find dissatisfaction.
Being on social media platforms alone does not place a book in the hands of readers. Effective strategies must be in place to accomplish this goal. Planning, preparing, publishing and promoting are all important to the success of an author. These four words may seem to represent four ‘easy’ activities as witnessed by a myriad of ‘how to’ books for sale on the Internet. Don’t believe it! There is nothing easy in the process.
Oprah didn’t get where she is over night. It took her years to build her brand and I wouldn’t even venture a guess about how much of a monetary investment. Here is what she says, “What I know for sure is that if you want to have success, you can’t make success your goal. The key is not to worry about being successful, but to instead work toward being significant – and the success will naturally follow.”
Now, when Oprah says read a book, people read the book. This is the significance of having a well known brand.
You know you’ve arrived when your brand is one word–and that one word is your first name.
I remember, years ago, when a customer chewed out one of my office employees. I called him and, using my sternest voice, I said, “This is Tom Blubaugh.” Before I was able to say anything else he said, “Blue who?” I barely suppressed my laughter until I hung up the phone.
Thinking you’ve branded your name isn’t the same as doing it.
Change something today to make your tomorrow better.
Literary Strategist, LLC