Thursday, February 6, 2014

Can A Writer Cause An Earthquake?

Writers are driven by their hopes to be discovered, to have their voices heard, to make an impact on the lives of many. In today’s explosion of communication vehicles – Web sites, social media, books, magazines, newspapers, videos, music, radio, and television – it seems the ability to rise above the clutter is impossible. But it seems to be an odd contradiction that the tools to communicate are more available than ever before, but the ability to be heard has been diluted. Further, though the ability for society overall to be heard has shrunk in proportion to all of the voices out there, the ability for select individuals or specific messages to be heard on a grand scale is actually much more possible than ever before.

Let’s call a moment where 50,000 people could read your content an earthquake. But let’s say 5,000 reading it is a tremor. And 1,000 reading it is a blip. So, 20 years ago, there may only have been a few hundred books – if that many – that sold like an earthquake. Now, my guess is that double that number of earthquakes is happening. However, the number of tremors may be decreasing and as such, we have a book industry of a vast majority of blips and a small but growing number of earthquakes. However, as a percentage of all books published in a given year, there were a greater percentage of books that were earthquakes two decades ago than today.

When you look at social media, there are many earthquakes, though still, the vast majority of blogs, videos, and podcasts receive the exposure of a tremor, or more likely a blip. So, even though the number of social media earthquakes, as a percentage of all digital transmissions is tiny, the total number of earthquakes is accelerating each year, by my estimates, to big numbers.

So what does any of this mean?

Be optimistic, writers. Though the odds seem against you to achieve an earthquake, the opportunity to cause an earthquake is the greatest it’s ever been.

If there were (making up a number) 200,000 earthquakes in social media, you have a 1 in 200,000 chance to be the one to cause an earthquake. Others would say your chances are worse. If there were 800 billion social media transmissions (made this up) and only 200,000 led to an earthquake, then your odds are 1 in 4,000,000. But your competition isn’t against the people who fail to cause an earthquake. Your competition is the individual who can create an earthquake,. 

In any case, these are crazy numbers. All you can do as a writer is write and then creatively market your words so that you can cause an earthquake.

And when you do, it’ll rock the world.


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014.

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