Where is Publishing Headed?

Ever wonder where publishing is headed in this ever-changing paperback vs. e-book world?

Publishing

I have to say, as an indie author, John B. Thompson’s article, in the Huffington Post, gave me hope. Sure, things might be getting harder for the publishing houses, but they are also leveling the playing field of book marketing for those of us indie authors. On a day-to-day basis, we are fighting through the weeds, trying to figure out how to get our names out there. We’re attempting to find new and innovative ways to get our books in front of readers.

By the time the publishing houses figure out that they also need to focus more on the online social media platforms, maybe some of us indie authors will have a small advantage. Having worked for years, build our online communities or readers and other authors, we indie authors are developing a strong network. No, I might never be the next Stephen King (Oh but I wish I was), or the next J.K. Rowling (wouldn’t that be amazing), but that doesn’t mean as an indie author I can’t still make my place in the literary world.

[The section below is provided as an excerpt from Thompson’s article. Check out the full article here, written by John B. Thompson on the Huffington Post.]

Today, the publishing business is in turmoil. For 500 years, the methods and practices of book publishing remained largely unchanged, but today the industry finds itself faced with the greatest challenges since Gutenberg.

These challenges are the outcome of two processes. On the one hand, the publishing business has been transformed beyond recognition by a set of profound social and economic changes that have been underway since the 1960s, resulting in the publishing landscape we see around us today: a handful of large corporate publishers based in New York and London and owned by large multimedia conglomerates; an array of powerful agents who have become the unavoidable gateway into publishing for writers and would-be writers; and a retail landscape dominated by a dwindling number of retail chains, mass merchandisers and Amazon.

On the other hand, the technological upheaval associated with the digital revolution is now having a major impact on the book publishing business. After a decade of numerous false dawns, e-books have now arrived and they are here to stay. In 2006, e-book sales amounted to only around 0.1 percent of the overall revenue of large US trade publishers – an accounting irrelevance. Today this figure is around 20 percent, and for some kinds of books, like romance, science fiction and thrillers, the percentage can be 60 percent or more – a huge change in five years. The digital revolution is disrupting many of the traditional practices of the publishing industry, opening up new opportunities and at the same time threatening to dislodge some of the players who have shaped the business of book publishing for half a century or more.

So where is book publishing now headed? Will the traditional print-on-paper book become a relic of a bygone age, a collector’s item to be found only in second-hand bookstores and garage sales, much like the old vinyl LP? Will publishers – and perhaps agents too – be displaced by a flourishing of self-publishing and by powerful online retailers like Amazon who can offer to publish writers’ work on royalty terms that are much more favorable than those traditionally offered by publishing houses?

[The section above is provided as an excerpt. Check out the full article here, written by John B. Thompson on the Huffington Post.]

So, if you’re an author (traditionally published or indie) I would love to know your thoughts on this topic. Leave your comments below and let’s start a conversation on the future of the publishing world.

Social Media Marketing 101

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SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING 101

With 355 social media platforms available (see list here) it can be a little overwhelming for authors to figure out the ins and outs of social media marketing. As an indie author, I find marketing myself and my books to be the hardest part of the process, followed closely by editing. However, marketing is alway one of the most important jobs of an indie author. You can write a great book but if no one knows about it – no one will read it.

Like I said, there are 355 social media platforms out there, today. Tomorrow there may be more. Not all of these platforms are right for authors, but how are new authors supposed to figure out what platforms will work for them? Good question. I wish I had the answer, but I don’t. I’m learning by trial and error. The reason for this post is so that I can share my thoughts and experiences to maybe help you on your journey.

Below I have listed the top social media platforms that I am currently using, or trying to use. You may already be using these sites, but if you’re not and want to start this may just be the place to get your foot in the door with some new ideas.

PLUS… the are all FREE!

Top Social Media Sites all Indie Authors Should Be Using:

FACEBOOK PAGE

 With Facebook’s ever-growing popularity, it would be crazy for an indie author not to have either an author page or a book page on Facebook. When I first started my page I decided to do a book page for my Blood Angel Series. I have since changed it to an author page. Why? Well, I published a book that wasn’t part of the Blood Angel Series, and I didn’t want to have to keep up with two pages. No, its not that much extra work, but when you add up all of the marketing an indie author has to do daily/weekly/monthly just to get their name and books out there, one extra Facebook page did seem a bit overwhelming.

My recommendation – DO NOT USE YOUR PERSONAL FACEBOOK PROFILE! Make a page that you control. As an author, I want to keep my personal life separate from my author life. Photos of my kids don’t belong on my author page. When I connect with other authors I don’t need to know what movie they just saw. I want to connect with them on an author-to-author or author-to-reader level and be informed about their coming book releases, writing tips, etc.

Join Facebook groups to reach your niche audience. Engage in group discussions, contribute helpful ideas and comment on posts. Make sure you check out blogs and twitter accounts of other group members and read and comment on their posts. Talk about your books, writing tips, what inspires you, etc. Be a part of the community so that the people in that community want to get to know you and your books. Word of mouth will help build your audience and grow your brand.

TWITTER

With only 140 characters to communicate your message, you must capture your audience quickly. Like they say, readers form their opinion about a book within the first two to three sentences, so Twitter is a great place to develop your writing skills. 

According to Twitter, a tweet is “an expression of a moment or idea. It can contain text, photos, and videos. Millions of Tweets are shared in real time, every day.” 

This is a place to get to know your readers, meet and share ideas with other writers, and find out what readers within your genre are interested in reading. DO NOT spam the twitter feeds with “buy my book” posts. Make sure you are engaging and share information that people want to read.

Make sure to include appropriate hashtags (no more than three for each post).

GOODREADS

I’m still getting to know Goodreads, but I love it so far. This is where authors post their books, connect to readers and authors, get ideas about what people in their genre like and are actively reading, post what you’re reading, write reviews, etc. Goodreads has a great author program dedicated to helping authors understand all the benefits of using their platform. You can even post giveaways, videos, blog posts, etc.

Join groups and participate in group discussions and reading challenges to get to know your potential readers. 

Have questions that you want to ask other authors? Reach out to them here!

AMAZON AUTHOR PROFILE

Amazon gives authors the ability to create their own author profile which links to their books. This is where you can post your bio, photos, and even link to your blog, twitter, and other social media accounts. You can even have a reader/author question and answer section within your profile.  

TUMBLR & INSTAGRAM

I am VERY NEW to both of these sites, but much like Twitter they are a snapshot moment in time that you can share with your friends, family, and followers. For those of you who write YA (Young Adult) Fiction, like me, this is the place to find our audience. Social media is all about the “now” and what is happening in real time. The youth of today are the primary drivers when it comes to social media, so if you have a book or books that are geared for YA – POST THEM HERE.

Use photos that relate to what you write about and to you as an author. Make sure to include appropriate hashtags (no more than three for each post).

LINKEDIN

LinkedIn is typically seen as a professional business community social media platform. However, there are a large number of networking groups on LinkedIn, especially for authors. By joining author groups and writing groups, you can share your books, share marketing ideas, collaborate on writing projects, and learn from your peers. I have learned so much from reading posts by other authors, editors, cover designers, etc. and I think you will too.


Next Steps:

The world of marketing is SCARY, but you aren’t alone. There are so many indie authors out there, just like you and me that are trying to find a way to get their foot in the door. So, don’t worry if you are feeling overwhelmed – I know I am. Just take it one step at a time. Set up your free accounts with each of the above sites and then start having fun and get to posting.


If you have suggestions on other social media sites to use, please list them below with how you use them and the benifits you’ve seen.

My Social Media Goals

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I recently met with Shayla Lee Raquel of Curiouser Author Network and we talked all about MARKETING. For me, marketing is the BIG BAD. I am not a sales person and I have a hard time talking about myself. However, as an author, especially an indie author, it is very important to be able to sell yourself and your books.

Considering that I published my first novel, Awaken, in 2012, I should be much farther along in the marketing game. So, with the help of Shayla I have made myself some social media marketing goals. In order to keep myself on track and push myself to do better in the upcoming months and years I am going to post my monthly results here for the whole world to see. Call it my accountability system.

Below are the monthly goals I am setting in order to start off on this new social media marketing adventure. I do hope these will increase with time, but I’m aiming for ‘better than current’ right now. I will aim for the stars at a later date.

Monthly Goals:

Blog: Post at least once per week

Writing: Write at least 5,000 words per week (20,000 words per month)

This will change depending on where I am in the writing process. Currently I am finishing up the first draft of my next novel The Hunted (book 2 ~ the SECTOR C Series) When I get into editing the word count will go out the window and the goal will be based on editing revisions

Reading: Read at least 1 book per month and post a review on Goodreads, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and my blog if appropriate. These reviews will also be included in my new YA Newsletter – sign up to receive the newsletter HERE.

YA Newsletter: My new YA Newsletter will be sent to my mailing list once per month at the beginning of the month, starting in August. You can sign up to receive your copy HERE. This is also where I will hold subscriber only giveaways. Yes, GIVEAWAYS.

Facebook & TwitterPost at least once weekly

TumblrPost daily as part of the Book Photo Challenge by Books & Cupcakes

InstagramGoal not determined yet.

Google+: Goal not determined yet.

What I will post in my Monthly Updates:

  • Number of blog posts;
  • Written word count;
  • Books I’ve read and those I’m still reading;
  • Goodreads and Amazon Stats;
  • Number of followers on my blog, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, etc.;
  • Review Quotes; and
  • What you can look forward to in the month(s) to come.

Post a Quote Challenge (Day 3)

Hello Again,

I am on the final day of the Post A Quote Challenge. Thanks to Jonas Lee for thinking of me and pushing me into this challenge. 

Here are the rules in said challenge:

* Post one quotation a day for three days (they can be from other sources or one of your own).

* Nominate 3 other bloggers to participate per post.

* Thank the blogger who nominated you on each post.

Today’s quote is by the master of words, Oscar Wilde.

read-quotes-7

 

I love this quote. What it is really saying is that what you read can really tell a lot about your personality.

Now, my last batch of nominees (feel free to participate or not):

Ashlee North

Marie Lavender

Zoot

Post a Quote Challenge (Day 2)

So, I am on day two of the Post A Quote Challenge. I’d like to thank, once again, Jonas Lee for nominating me.

Here are the rules in said challenge:

* Post one quotation a day for three days (they can be from other sources or one of your own).

* Nominate 3 other bloggers to participate per post.

* Thank the blogger who nominated you with each post.

Today’s selection is by Ernest Hemingway. I think his words can be an inspiration and guide to us all.

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“…Before you quit, try.”

Now, my next batch of nominees (feel free to participate or not):

Jenny

Writers 750

Garry Abbott

Post a Quote Challenge (Day 1)

So, have you seen? There is yet ANOTHER blog challenge going on. I actually love these things they get me motivated to blog. This one is a Post A Quote Challenge.

I’m sure a lot of you have been seeing the Post A Quote Challenge. Thankfully, people like me enough to nominate me for things like this. I want to thank Jonas Lee for nominating me! 

Here are the rules in said challenge:

* Post one quotation a day for three days (they can be from other sources or one of your own).

* Nominate 3 other bloggers to participate per post.

* Thank the blogger who nominated you.

So, now for my first-day selection. I decided to post an inspirational quote from http://www.dailyinspirationalquotes.in – I love this page. I am a firm believer that you have to love what you do and no one said it better than Steve Jobs.

Inspirational-Quotes-32

 

In my opinion, this quote is so much more than just work. It also addresses how we approach life. In order to succeed at anything, you have to have a passion for it. As an employee, I love to learn and so I’m constantly learning new things at work. As a mom, my children are my passion, and I strive every day to be the best mom I can be – to do epic for them. As an author, loving to write and read gives me the drive to publish only what I truly believe is my best work.

Now, my first batch of nominees (feel free to participate or not, but if you do – HAVE FUN WITH IT):

Sarah Lena Brown

Amanda Conger

Stephenie