Top Five Industry Changes All Writers Should Embrace!
by Amber Scott
IBC Executive Director
1. EBooks. Yes, even after the huge surge in e-readers, smartphones and tablets, there are authors who doubt the long term profitability of electronic reading. In December 2010, Amazon reported that eBooks on their site outsold all other forms of books. It’s 2012. Just imagine what that number is now. While print and audio formats will never die out, the sooner authors embrace this new, viable format of eBooks as the forward trend, the better their careers will be for it.
2. The Power of Free. Whether it’s the buy one book in a year and get ten free option of book clubs or your weekly visit to the library, then and now, free reads can earn future dollars and new fans. Harnessing the power of creating a free reads, and giving free reads away in a strategic way, will expose authors to tons of new readers they can earn into fandom. If enrolled in KDP Select, use your title’s free days strategically and get involved in programs like Free Par-tay that focuses on strategic free. If NOT enrolled in KDP Select, Smashwords as a platform can get you the power of free, too. Use coupons to get ebooks to reviewers, readers, to use in contests and tours like Blog Tour de Force. Check out your *local library system to see how you can get your title among those lent. (*Be sure, of course, that you check Terms of Service thoroughly first.)
3. Book Bloggers. Even toothpaste commercials refer to blog review approval. The new bookstore kiosk is online. Readers used to look to magazines and word of mouth for book reviews and recommendations. Not anymore. The blogosphere has evolved into a reader-centric place filled with bloggers who love to read and love to talk books. Readers are finding their additions to their To Be Read pile through blog hops, guest blogging and contests thrown by members of this tight community. Become a good neighbor by visiting a blog a day and commenting in a positive way.
4. Even traditional is going indie. Brenda Novak, Jeaniene Frost, Bob Mayer, Julia London, Barbara Freethy. Any of these names look familiar? Yep. Having a New York contract doesn’t mean authors aren’t going indie. Because of massive innovations and a plethora of author friendly self-publishing platforms, being indie is no longer a dirty word. Authors of all sorts of backgrounds are dipping a toe in the indie waters and creating extras through self-publishing for fans during the down time between traditional releases. In fact, many an indie author have earned a New York contract by starting out indie and showing long term career viability through sales.
5. Social Media. Twitter, Facebook, blogging or any other social media platform will NOT sell books. It will, however, forge relationships that authors can nurture into a tribe of readers who then create the word of mouth buzz that does sell books. Word of mouth buzz comes in many forms now thanks to tweets, status updates, blog posts and more. Reviews, hitting the ‘like’ button on an Amazon page and more all create popularity and stem from social media relationships. If authors keep this platform fan-centric, their readers will repay them in kind through word of mouth, and do so spontaneously. Because they love to help authors that they love!
In between naptimes and dishes, Amber Scott escapes into the addictive twists and turns her characters take. She often burns dinner, is hooked on chocolate and still believes in happily ever after. She can be found online everywhere and helping run the Indie Book Collective as Executive Director. She makes her home in Arizona with her husband, two kidlets and one day, many, many cats.