Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What Are You Going To Do About Your Book

I was scanning a couple of articles this morning before settling in to some work and stumbled across an article by Aneya Fernando about NYT Best-Selling author Dave Ramsey and some of his thoughts on self-publishing. He made a comment that I do think resonates with all authors through, and not just those in non-fiction like Ramsey is, or in self-publishing.

So publishers are looking for an author that has a willingness to hustle and has a platform of some kind. How are you going to leverage things you’ve done in the past? How are you going to leverage your PR appearances, your knowledge, your Twitter base, your fan base on Facebook?

I think this idea is even more important in today's market as we see things shifting back and forth so much in terms of sales, distribution and so forth. This is not so much an issue of the market moving from traditional to digital, but an issue of the readership changing. We have a public, our consumers, that are now looking at reading in a new light. The lure of the other funky gadgets on their phones and tablets, television shows that draw us in for a full season at a time, and certainly our busy lifestyles, have created a new climate of reader and one that doesn't do as much.

Still, there are readers out there.

Now authors need to start thinking of new ways to get their name and their brand out there to the public. I find it very frustrating when I see authors complaining their sales are going down and yet seem to do nothing about it, other than to continue what they do. They blogged about their books in the past and they seem to think that doing more will create sales. Sure, it might do some, but that is not what we need.

I do believe, despite what some authors seem to think, that publishers are out there trying to think of a new way to get those readers back. We see bold moves by publishers all around the world to find a new solution. Why? They are in a business of making money, just like authors are. They want to succeed!

I do think the days of just sitting around and waiting for something to happen in publishing are gone (at least maybe for a while). If you, as an author, want to increase sales, what are you going to do about it. I will say, doing the same thing you have been doing isn't going to work. Along the same lines, just running from the problem and blaming others for decreases in sales is not going to work either. It takes critical thinking skills to make this work.

In all honesty, I do believe, if authors and publishers would get back to working "as a team" and not as two groups thinking the other is "out to screw the other" we might see those sales increase.

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