“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….” This is a partial quote from Charles Dickens a Tale of two Cities and sounds a lot like the world of authors today. On the one hand we have access to nearly the whole world through the Internet — on the other hand we are competing with thousands of authors and millions of books.
I probably don’t have to tell you that the publishing industry has been on a roller coaster ride since 2011. I believe Amazon saw this ride coming and helped it develop by purchasing Createspace in 2005 and by using very creative marketing techniques. In 2007 they announced the free online setup for self-publishing. I find this article written on May 29, 2012 to be extremely informative.
During this five-year period, we have seen:
- The responsibility for marketing shift from the traditional publisher to the author.
- The growing popularity of the indie and self-published author.
- The decline of the brick-and-mortar bookstores.
- The dramatic increase of online book sales.
- The increased difficulty authors and literary agents are having trying to connect with traditional publishers.
- The increased number of traditional publishers who are cherry picking the top selling indie and self-published authors.
- The increased number of genres being created to improve online sales rankings.
All of these things have changed how an author markets her books.
Amazon is now the biggest book retailer, both in North America and overseas. It’s fairly easy to place a book on Amazon. The last figure it that I have been able to find is from 2013 when there were nearly 12.5 million books available for sale on Amazon.
The problems as I see them:
- Most authors do not have a budget for producing a book.
- Most authors don’t treat their book production as a business.
- Most authors are wanting to be published by a traditional publisher thinking this publisher will do all of the marketing for them.
- Most authors think that if they get their book on Amazon.com that it will sell itself.
- Most authors don’t understand when their book sells on Amazon that Amazon does not give them the name and email address of the buyer. Amazon is able to build their list that the author is not.
- Many authors edit their own work as they do not have funds to hire an editor. Or they hire an editor who does not do a good job because they don’t check them out.
- Most authors do not understand that when they self-publish their book that they really and truly are the publisher with all the expenses.
- Most authors write and publish the book before they think about marketing—specifically who they are writing to.
I hope you learn solid principles to help you on your journey of success—whatever success means to you.
Change something today to make your tomorrow better.
Tom Blubaugh Literary Strategist, LLC
Common Sense Marketing Strategies, LLC