Writing and selling a book is no different than developing and selling a product. The developer must know the product, target audience, demographic, channels of distribution, and demonstrate proper marketing and advertising techniques to gain awareness and exposure. And while the rules of publishing are similar to those existing 10 years ago, publishing a book has changed dramatically with the rise in technology.
Amazon, Kindle, e-books, and electronic articles have made accessing and purchasing books, articles, and magazines easier than ever. Everything from researching books, choosing books based on previous purchases, and transactions can be completed in a matter of seconds. Social networks also provide a great tool for publishers as they provide an open line of communication – and an environment to foster discussions, conversations, and debates – while offering “free marketing and advertising” as well as providing an outlet for sharing and viral activity.
These electronic developments, although wonderful tools, can hinder the ability to successfully publish, market, and deliver a book if an author disagrees, is unaware, or unable to adapt to the new rules of publishing. Thankfully, The Windy City Publishers here in Chicago have a few tips regarding the new rules of publishing.
New Rules of Publishing
1. You are in Control: Selling to a traditional publisher is not the only option these days. Research and choose a method that works for you and your business goals.
2. Don’t Underestimate Social Media: Social media is a great tool for building a following, increasing engagement, and most importantly, gaining exposure and credibility. Build a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and start a blog.
3. E-Book is Necessary: Add audio and visual files to your ebook, link to other websites, and invest in an e-pub file rather than a PDF.
4. Think Digitally: E-books have increased 167% in 2011. “Embrace the technological change, be flexible, and be willing to take risks via the use of technology. If you don’t embrace new digital distribution, electronic devices, and social media, then you will have an uphill battle” says Lisa Marinelli, President of Windy City Publishers.
5. Bookstrap: Get your book cover “out there” and begin building a fanbase as soon as you can.
6. Build a Net-World: Find the best resources. Think highest quality, lowest cost.
7. Keep Seeking the New Edge: Follow the leader, see what’s working, and replicate their efforts. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Instead, learn from others and be open to new strategies.
8. Know Your Audience: With any platform, understand your target market—why should they follow you? Where will you find them?
The publishing industry is no doubt changing for the better. Books are available on demand, can be read across multiple platforms, and are easier to share via the Internet. Welcome the new rules of publishing. They’re here to stay!
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