It is becoming increasingly apparent that Author Survival in the new age of digital book publishing requires the development of new skill sets. No longer is it enough to have written a fantastic book and to put it in the hands of a publishing company.
Authors must not only be pro-active in all facets of the book, from writing to promotion to sales, they now must build an authority brand that is both visible and credible. Writer survival depends on knowledge, adaptability, flexibility, and a futuristic vision.
Self-Publishers Online Conference 8 – 10 May 2012
The SPOC 2012 conference was developed by Susan Daffron and James Byrd, owners of Logical Expressions, Inc, and is well worth a visit. Knowledge acquired will give you choices, even if you have no intention to self-publish. A few key Author survival tips are summarised as follows:
1) Writers must now be closer to their buyers and look at readers as customers, not just consumers. As such they will need to engage with their consumers via social networking, Review systems, forums, blogs etc.
2) Books are created to entertain, inform and to educate. Know exactly what your readers seek (expectations, habits), where they can be found, what makes financial sense for them, what value/benefits they get from your book, etc.
3) Build your Authority. For example, on writing, publishing, issues. Readers want to know/like/trust you. Realise that there is a non-monetary currency based on reputation. Compile lists of reviews, testimonials, endorsements.
4) Embrace new technologies.
5) Recognise that the digital world has created a ‘Long Tail’ for books.
6) Build your author brand in terms of both visibility and credibility. This will create multiple streams of income via royalties, consulting, speaking, coaching, plus teaching fees.
7) Learn effective book promotion strategies used for web sites, media releases, Amazon, search engine optimisation, virtual tours, email marketing, Facebook Fan Pages etc.
8) Look at multiple platforms but focus on specific ones that will work for you and for your target audience. Things to consider are Tweet Chats, YouTube, podcasts etc.