Friday, February 28, 2014

Links of interest: Changing Times

Yes, the publishing industry is in the midst of some major changes. There seems to be a new "Buzz" every week whether it's the Word du Jour or Author Earning Analysis graphics. Debates are raging through online media and some cases are examples of people "behaving badly" instead of professionalism or even common sense.

Our platform is exposing Marketing Myths and offering Authors advice to Plan their Public Persona, because what is found in the digital cloud is permanent and can spread at warp speed.

The following links show that what's changed for authors hasn't changed Why You Are An Author...

NPR's Marketplace recently did an interview with Sylvia Day 
Meet Sylvia Day: The Steamy Baroness of Book Deals
On the digital-first movement that puts power back in the hands of authors:
"The shift in power from publishers to authors has been massive. And really the driving seat now is no longer the sales and marketing department of a publisher who is on an acquisition meeting saying, 'I really don't know how we're going to sell this,' to the reader who just can surf on Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Kobo and just say, 'Boy, that sounds interesting, I'll pick it up.' That's why we see these self-published books that just explode and publishers are like, 'how did people hear about that?' Well, readers are in the driver's seat."
Featured in: Marketplace for Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Two of our favorite folks, Delilah Marvelle and Donald Maass, have both contributed some interesting <if not jaw dropping> insights.
Delilah Marvelle's: An Open Letter to My Agent Donald Maass 
(Donald's reply is comment #8) 

What does all this information have to do with marketing?

Since readers are indeed the gatekeepers, great stories combined with a well designed persona and a reader focused marketing strategy are critical for discover-ability.

Our key take-aways are:
  • Know your audience <readers> and find ways to engage them in their natural habitat.
  • Engage your readers by providing great stories and customer <reader> experiences both online and in person.
  • Per Sylvia Day's comments, readers are surfing bookseller websites more as opposed to browsing bookstore shelves. Cover designs need to be eye catching and legible in a thumbnail size to attract readers. Once they have clicked on your book, the overview paragraph and description "back cover" copy should be concise and engaging. Remember, your goal is to grab their interest, so that they click the 'Buy' button.
  • Readers talk to each other, help keep your buzz positive by being professional.
Yes, these are changing times. However, with great change comes great opportunities. Devise a strategy, develop a plan, follow through on the execution, and you will be well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities that come your way.

Bring giveaways and promote them. I still have a couple of boxes of my first book, which is old, out-of-print, and not so useful (a 15-year-old Internet book). I took five of them along to a Closed Captioning Handbook book signing at a trade show. I sent a tweet with the event’s Twitter hash tag that said, “the first person to mention this tweet to me gets a free book.” I did the same thing on Facebook. It was interesting to see how many professional people were sitting in business meetings and educational sessions checking their Twitter feeds! You can also use drawings as a way to collect names. Have people drop their names or business cards in a fishbowl or basket, and then draw one every hour and give away something.

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