Talk about trying to catch the train after it has left the station, the big publishing houses are just now looking into Internet and network marketing. The Internet hit the publishing industry like a runaway freight and it wasn’t truly respected until upstarts like Amazon, and Google were seen riding off into the sunset lifting their glasses of champagne high into the air.
Even now Amazon is leading the book selling revolution with electronic books. What are the traditional guys doing? Mostly moaning about how book sales are down (is that true Amazon?), and gnashing their teeth about how foot traffic into bookstores has decreased.
This is why I say if you go the traditional route your chances of success are very slim. I’ve read that a new title will get a whole 30 days of shelf exposure before being flung into the discount bin. Or even worse, having their covers ripped off for return credit and the book destroyed. You have to make a big splash early and fast to survive.
Chew on this thought–what if you published your own book and you could take the time it needs to build its audience? What if you controlled the presentation, marketing, and distribution? AND, instead of getting a 10% royalty earned fifteen times as much? This is the essence of self-publishing.
I’m not saying that everyone is ready, willing and able to do what it takes to be a self-publisher, but what most don’t know is that it is easier than you might imagine. You can build yourself up and become an industry thought leader in six months without even leaving home. Blogging makes it possible. The Internet makes almost anything possible. I know–I’m doing it. I started a blog last January (it’s July now) and I’ve had nearly 11,000 hits so far, and my monthly totals are going up, up, and up.
Why am I doing this? Exposure. Name recognition. I haven’t even published my books yet, but before I do I’m laying the groundwork. I’m networking and making world-wide connections daily. That’s so cool I can hardly stand it. If you scroll down the right side of my blog you will come to a yellow map of the world. Click on it and see how far and wide my words have gone. I even have a language translator so that they can read what I’ve written in their own tongue. Technology–don’t ya’ love it?
Social Networking (web2.0) is flipping the whole book marketing system upside down. It used to be that you would sell books and then people would come to know you. Now people can get to know you and then you sell books. Which method would you rather use?
I’ve been following T.A.P. (The Author Platform) to learn the ropes of blogging and social networking. Without this guidance I would be lost. TAP very clearly shows the path to follow and gives very valuable tidbits of information along the way. I can heartily endorse it because I use it. Oh, and by-the-way there’s a No Risk 15 day FREE trial too. What could be sweeter? Just click here for more information.
What do I get out of it? I get a little slice of the action, it’s true, but more than that I get the satisfaction of knowing that I’ve helped my fellow self-publishers, which is the same reason I have for creating The Red Hen Association of Self-Publishing Authors (click here for more information). I believe that we all benefit if we strive to raise the bar. We can do that by producing better self-published books, and selling them smarter than the big guys.