Thursday, April 30, 2015

Today's Author Needs 3-D Vision

Not too long ago, authors really had it good! Bookstores were in every mall. We could find those smaller, independent bookstores in every small town. It was great! Books were published, sent to these sellers and tables would be set up to promote those authors. Established authors would get promo material set up for them by the publishers, new and innovative authors would get a special table set up to promote their work, and even the"mid list" newer authors would be discovered by the readers "browsing for something to read."

But those days are gone now. Here where I live, I have a good 30-45 min. drive to the nearest bookstore. Yes, my town has a used bookstore, but to get those newer titles, I have to drive. Add in the fact that we have so many authors out there with the growth of the self-publishing movement and the basic author can get lost in a sea of all of the other authors. 

And here is the problem. This business is dependent on the readers. It is dependent on people finding those books and buying those books. But this requires getting the attention of those readers and to do this takes a new breed of author/marketing specialist. For you see, an author cannot simply write the books today. The author needs to find a way to get that word out, and that takes a different brand of creativity.

We had the launch of social media, but even that is now getting to the point of being flooded. Consider the simple fact that all of these sites - Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and so forth - only work if the reader knows the name of the author, knows the name of the book, and knows which of the sites to look for that information. This doesn't exactly work well for new authors who are just trying to get their name out for the first time. 

So now the newer authors have to consider different approaches. Many are now attending conferences and gatherings that would normally have been outside of the book publishing world but might be focusing on issues and topics they write about. Many are now looking to foreign markets. I know of a couple of Harlequin authors who are seriously promoting, through social media in those foreign book markets. Facebook France is great for one of my authors who knows French. She is now getting the word out in other languages.

I will have to say, I don't think there is one approach any more of getting the word out about your book. What I will say is that authors have to be prepared to REALLY think outside of the box. This is not the book marketing world of prior days. 

Let us know some of the newer innovative ways you have tried and found successful. 


  1. From a reader standpoint, I miss those days of bookstores in every mall, independent stores a walkable distance, and being lured inside by what was in the window. With so many readers wanting books, why do you think we don't have so many bookstores anymore? I know a lot of people read on Kindle, etc. (and I do, too, sometimes), but so many readers want print books too. These stores are a real loss. I know you wanted shares of good tips, but I just felt this response to your post.

  2. As a romance novelist and author marketing myth-buster, I want to advise new authors to understand the new version of "shelf life" in the digital world. Stop burning yourself out chasing the latest hot blog or social sphere and work on creating a solid backlist.

    The goal of Marketing is to generate sales and the three terms to know are Push, Pull, and POP. POP is an acronym for Point of Purchase. Readers need to know there is a book, what it's about, and where to BUY. If there is a broken link on buying a book - it is a lost sale. A reader can know your name, and have heard of your book, and want to buy it to read.... But if they can't find it...