The Internet vs Traditional Publishing
Today I really am talking out of my hat. With as much practical knowledge as I have acquired over the last forty or so years in and around the printing business, this Internet world is brand new to me. Not that I haven’t been using the Net for many years, it’s the jumping in, and being a presence, that is new to me.
I attended a seminar just a couple of months ago led by Phil Davis. You may have noticed Phil’s name show up on the comments to this blog. Phil owns a short-run digital printing company. He has been serving authors and printing their books for many years. It occurred to Phil that in addition to printing their product, he could be even more helpful if he taught them how to market their books. That was an excellent idea. If you can help your customers achieve success they will have the funding to do it again, and again, and again.
You’ve read in prior posts some of my thoughts on the state of publishing today, as I understand it. I don’t know how many thousands of new authors uselessly beat their heads against the walls trying to go through established publishing channels. The traditional channels are too narrow.
So there Phil was in front of a small twenty-odd-something group of authors telling them that selling through the Internet is not only the current wave but might become the only method in future book promotions. Self-publishing and self-marketing–gosh, what a concept. The new reality is that with the state-of-the-art printing capabilities a run of 50 or 100 books is viable. Even ten years ago that wasn’t true. It is now. As for Internet marketing, much of it is free. Let’s recap, you can print your book in small quantities as needed, you can market your book for free, what’s not to love?
Phil talked about blogging and used his own experience as an example. The first month of his website www.authorsonthenet.com he got 300 hits, by the end of the year it was up to three thousand. How many fledgling authors became Phil’s customers? He won’t divulge that, and I can’t blame him. The point is that the Internet has taken the place of a whole fleet of salespeople. How many salesmen would a company have to employ to reach three thousand prospects per month?
I have to admit that I am not a technocrat. My wife chides me that if world progress depended on me, we might not have the electric light, or zippers. While that isn’t exactly true, there is some truth to it. I’m am not ever the first to embrace new technology, and I tend to learn only as much as I need to learn. Without people like Phil Davis sounding the clarion call you wouldn’t be reading this blog today.
I have to tell you, I’m loving this blogging revolution. It allows me to speak out on issues involving my profession, or anything else I want to, and I get connected with the whole doggone world! My wife added a plug-in (or is it a widget?) to my home page that shows a map of the world. It has just been installed, and so I’ve missed the previous hits, but in the last couple of days red dots have shown up from France and the Grand Cayman’s. This might not blow any of you readers away, but for me it’s a freakin’ miracle. I’m sitting here at my desk facing the Wasatch Mountains in Utah and someone in France stopped by just to read what I have to say.
Just knowing this means I have an awesome responsibility. If my words are helpful in any way, to anyone in the world, I have to make sure that every time they visit this site they can take away some nugget of value. I will make this my goal, and my pledge to my readers, everyday I’ll bring a thought, a method, or an understanding that I have to this blog. And if you readers will freely add your comments to help me keep on course, we can mutually benefit. Thank you, all of you, wherever you are in the world.