A WRITER needs readers. That may sound obvious, but in practice this is the difference between a bestseller and a writer lost in literary obscurity. For both traditional and self-published authors, the task of attracting readers is a major concern; because no one will buy a book that they don’t know exists.
Marketing an author and their book takes time and commitment no matter what side of the ePublishing revolution you are on. But self published authors, like John Locke and Amanda Hocking, have outshone traditional publishers and bestselling authors when it comes to utilising an online marketing formula.
As a publicity tool, the internet has built bridges between authors and millions of new readers. From twitter to blogging and newsletters to emails, self-published authors have developed such a successful online strategy that it is the norm for self-published authors (including our very own Catherin Ryan Howard) and it has even been adapted by traditional bestsellers (George R. R. Martin, J. K. Rowling and Stephen King).
But before the joys of the internet, publicity was a job left for the publisher. They would unleash their PR machine and use all at their disposal to get an author a book launch, a TV spot or even a review in a national magazine or paper.
Then publishers faced tighter budgets and tougher competition and they began to struggle giving full support to many new authors. According to M.J Rose, founder of the book marketing site AuthorBuzz, 85 per cent of traditional published books only get $2,000 for marketing while bestsellers can get up to $150,000. M.J. Rose also emphasises that PR and marketing cannot make a bestseller, but it is almost impossible to have a bestseller or even a good seller or even a seller without PR and marketing.
Like everyone else these days, publishers had to adapt to the modern market so they began looking how they could get their authors to self-publicise. But by this time, self-published authors had already begun implementing their own formula - and to great success.
Fast forward to today and it has become a necessity for modern authors, traditional or self-published, to utilise the web as their main publicity tool. Writers across the publishing world are behaving like mini businesses as they market themselves online and build up a loyal clientele through their websites and social networking.
However, being a merchandiser and an author at the same time is not a task for the light hearted. Self-publicising is a skill and being able to isolate a target market and then convince them to buy a book takes practice. Unfortunately it is a huge workload for a publishing house, let alone a single person.
That is where traditional publishers have the edge and patience. They have the man power to run an online campaign and the experience to get you exposure. This is a distinct advantage – if you have a contract.
No need to worry if you don’t because as many self-published authors have shown - Kerry Wilkinson, Brian S. Pratt, Mark Edwards and Louise Voss - it can be done. All you need is the know-how.
There are some great eBooks available that can help, like Catherine Ryan Howard’s guide to self-publishing called ‘Self-Printed’. There are also ePublishing companies and classes that will help guide you along the path as well.
So as you set out on the quest to self-publish and self-publicise, remember that you must be ready to commit as much time that you spent getting your book out to the public, as you did getting it out of your head!
For more information visit: http://becreativebooks.net/