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Friday, August 24, 2012

New Publishing Trends Increases Authors' Need for Platform Building

It's true, history repeats itself.

It would be nice if society could learn from past mistakes, but we seem doomed to ignore the hard lessons previous generations have learned and make them our own challenges with a modern spin on it. While it may look a bit different with new technologies, different people, places, and time--the ultimate issues are still the same.

People are hungry for power. They work hard to build a business empire, rake in as much profit as possible, put competition out of business. They start out with excellent customer service because they have to, but once they're on top and the only game in town, they begin flexing their muscles and setting unfair prices, contracts, and percentage rates with their partners.

Who are we talking about? The publishing industry.

First, it was the small publishers who were ousted by the big six publishers in NY.

Now, it's the big six along with book stores, facing the threat of the powerhouse of Amazon.

As usual authors and agents are caught in the middle. We're still producing our stories. Agents are still submitting them, but we're all listening, trying to discern where the winds (or trends) will lead us.

Here's one thing that won't change: 
  • The old publishing model depended on an author's platform and their ability to promote themselves.
  • The new publishing model will still depend on an author's platform, and more so, especially their online platform. 
Do not be discouraged or deceived. Every new follower you gain on Facebook, Twitter, and to your blog--matters. Every new subscriber you receive to your email newsletter--matters. Each new connection you make on Goodreads, Google+ or Pinterest--matters. It's one more person who has the potential to hear about your books and buy them, including whoever they have the ability to influence. This is limitless. Promotion is hard and sometimes it isn't fun, but it does make a difference.

People can't buy books they've never heard of before. And even if they've heard of your books, you must give them a reason to buy your book over all the other many choices competing for their attention. Sometimes it's by allowing them a chance to get to know YOU through interviews, personal blog posts, book signings, and sharing the blessings God has given YOU to pass onto THEM. People are more willing to buy and support an author they feel like they know than from someone with whom they have no connection. 

Thus, authors not only need to network with agents and authors, but these days they MUST network with readers as well. Social Media has given authors a direct platform to readers. No longer must they work through the gate keepers of traditional media and old-fashioned PR to reach their readers.

I want to leave you with a link to a blog post that will make you think.
Amazon--Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts by Kristen Lamb


  1. amen and awomen! If i build it (book platform) will they come?


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