By Rhonda Campbell
Akin to changes the music industry experienced in the 1990s, the book industry is experiencing not before seen changes. For starters, the way books, especially books online, are developed and made available to consumers has changed. Shifts in the book industry are impacting printers, book publishers, book distributors, booksellers and authors.
E-Books Changing the Book Industry
In 2007, Amazon.com released its first Kindle. The e-book reader sold for approximately $399. By 2011, Amazon.com reported that it had sold more e-books than print books. Yet, there may be room for both e-books and print books to thrive. After all, according to the February 6, 2012 CNET “Can Amazon Replicate Apple’s Brick-and-Mortar Success” article written by David Carnoy, Amazon may be toying with the idea of opening brick and mortar stores in the hopes of selling its own brand name products to customers in person.
Even if Amazon opens brick and mortar stores, the shift toward electronic and digital books and digital book reading devices will likely continue to quickly move forward. This means that freelance writers and creative small business leaders in the industry, including book authors, must find innovative ways to promote their titles, getting their books in front of avid book readers.
Keeping Pace With Book Industry Changes
To stay on pace with changes impacting the book industry, freelance writers and authors can incorporate one more of the following promotion strategies into their overall offline and online book marketing plans:
- Schedule a 30-day online radio tour with radio hosts of Blog Talk Radio, etc. shows (meaning authors would appear on 30 different radio shows during a single month) to market books online
- Host Twitter chats with book club members to help sell books
- Run a contest about their latest book, allowing winners to receive a free print copy or digital download of the book
- Create a book trailer and post it on their blogs and websites (add links to book trailers to make it easy for readers to buy books online)
- Design a separate web page for new books, including reader testimonials and upcoming book tour information (e.g. dates, times, locations for book signings, author interviews)
- Set up social network accounts and develop relationships with members by commenting on posts, asking questions, etc. (great marketing tool for online books)
- Advertising limited discount prices on newly released books to encourage first-time buyers to generate word-of-mouth sales
- Build and distribute electronic newsletters using tools like Constant Contact (http://www.constantcontact.com) and Vertical Response (http://www.verticalresponse.com)
- Schedule in-person speaking engagements at book club meetings, worship centers, schools, community centers, libraries, bookstores (sign books at the end of the events)
- Offer books for sale at discount books prices
- Write and distribute electronic press releases to media outlets whose readers are interested in reading the types of books the authors write
- Work with professional designers to get an effective cover created for e-books
- Post links to e-book order and testimonial pages in email signature lines
- Include URLs to e-book and print book titles on letterhead, memos, checks, etc.
- Complete 1 to 3 activities every day to promote their books
For freelance writers and book authors it might feel as if the book industry is the only industry undergoing significant shifts. However, this is not the case. The computer, music and manufacturing industries continue to evolve and change. It’s going to take inner vision (when hasn’t it), determination, commitment and a passion for their work to keep authors at the front of the genres they create books in. It’s also going to take a bit of ingenuity and risk taking, but authors who believe in themselves, their talent, skill and stories (fiction or non-fiction) will do what it takes to stay at (or get to) the top.
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Get Your Copy of Spiral at https://www.ebookit.com/books/0000000841/Spiral.html
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57372168-93/can-amazon-replicate-apples-brick-and-mortar-success/?tag=mncol;posts (CNET: Can Amazon Replicate Apple’s Brick-and-Mortar Success)