1. More books are being published today than just a few years ago. This means more choice in the marketplace—but more of a burden to getting discovered as a writer. It’s never been easier to be a published author—and never been harder to be a successful one.
2. More self-published books are being released than the traditional publishers produce. However, the vast majority of book sales and revenue is still being generated by traditional publishers.
3. It may seem like publishers are no longer necessary, but they still have distribution muscle, the ability to sell foreign or film rights, the talent to edit and design a book, the experience to create the right cover, title, and price, and they still hold name recognition in the marketplace.
4. Self-publishing is democratizing publishing and no longer does an author need permission from a gatekeeper to have his or her voice heard. However, the self-published author has to work hard to promote and market his or her book and must be responsible in what type of book they publish. It should still match standards of quality. It still needs to be a book that people will find useful and necessary—or one that they desire.
5. Social media increasingly is impacting a book’s sales and an author’s brand. Authors shouldn’t choose between investing time or resources into social media vs. traditional media. You need both, just as one needs vegetables and fruits to live. Authors must diversify their media portfolio and explore all areas to get the word out.
6. Print books are losing ground to ebooks but there is still a need for printed books. First, in terms of sales, more than 70% of market revenue comes from print, so you can’t ignore that money. Second, from a promotional standpoint, nothing beats showing a physical book or handing a copy to someone. Third, if you want to sell books at an event, bookstore signing, or to an organization, physical books are needed.
7. Print on demand can cost authors who are successful but save money for those who don’t sell many copies. If you print up 3,000 copies of a 250-page paperback, you may pay around $7,500 with shipping and taxes. That averages out to $2.50 per book. With print on demand, an author may pay $7-$8 per book printed—but you only pay when a book is ordered. So, if you think you’ll sell at least 1,000 copies of your book, I’d suggest don’t use POD, but instead, print-up several thousand copies. You’ll save money in the long run.
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 email@example.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014
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