Wednesday, May 4, 2016

How Will Your Readers Find You In Today's Market

Bookstores are gone.

Amazon is flooded with hundreds, no, thousands of authors giving away their books for free.

Stores such as Walmart, Safeway, Fred Meyer are cutting back their bookshelf space for room to sell "Seen Only On TV" items such as the Ninja pro.

Publishers are no longer going to print your book in select markets (Harlequin Historicals for example will not be selling print books in the North American Market through retail outlets).

But, to be successful, you need to get your books out to the public. If your readers cannot find you, then sales will simply decline and your career will go the way of so many other authors. You'll likely just give up.

You can certainly try Social Media, but that market has a limit. Your book title will only get out there IF you have followers, and those depend on having the readers the first time around who loved your book. We also know that for many of us, we are flooded by so many messages on social media that we end up missing the majority of the posts.

The book signing option worked in the past, if there was an outlet, but for many authors, they knew those were limited success. If you sold 10 or 15 books, that would have been a banner day. Besides, sitting in Costco trying to sell your book was tough because people were more interested in the free food samples and buying cases of toilet paper.

You can try the digital publishing route, but then you are back to fighting the crowds on sites such as Amazon and even then, you have to get the attention of the readers.

So, we are back to the initial question: How will readers find you?

In reality, I do believe to solve this issue will require a rethinking on the part of all of the major publishers. To make money will require spending money. Sure, the digital approach is cheaper. Less books to print because essentially everything is print - on demand. But that is not the only answer. There is nothing wrong with keeping the books in digital format, but it has to be only part of the equation. Books have to be available for people to buy the darn things.

Until that time, it is up to the authors to figure out how they will get those sales going. I know my authors at Greyhaus are working hard to get the word out. They are aggressively going after those readers. But will this be enough?

So I ask again (and this is also going out to the publishers out there):

How will the readers find your books so that sales can increase?

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