Those Golden Days of Publishing are Gone!
In the golden days, an author would secure a book deal through an agent,
publish the book, go on tour escorted by the publicist or media escort –
and if they scored enough publicity, they’d become a “best selling”
Or at the very least, the author’s book sales would cover the tour, pay
back the advance and make the publisher some money. Profit was the name
of the game – and the system was working – until about 2005.
Suddenly bookstores, media properties and publishing houses began to crumble. The
internet was the “game changer” and the traditional book publishing and
promotion process have become ineffective.
Up until this point, the world wide web was for those techy-geeky folks and had no real impact on
book sales. But now
, print-on-demand, viral marketing messages, social media
and powerful online communities have leveled the playing field.
Bookstores, agents, fat clunky press kits and publicists scoring traditional media are not the keys to an author’s
There are tons of self-published or independent books that have made history – and surprised the publishing
world. Like The Shack, a Christian novel by William P.
Young was originally self-published in 2005. And as of February 2010,
over seven million copies in print worldwide, spent seventy weeks
holding the number one spot on the New York Times bestseller list, and
it continues to remain in the top ten to date.
The success of The Shack demonstrates what word-of-mouth and community networking can do for a self-published book,
but more interestingly, the market strength of religious books in the United States,
within and without the book publishing industry.
So let’s compare old school and new school way of doing things:
Old School: Traditional hard and soft-cover books
New School: Digital books, ebooks, Kindles, ipad and other wireless reading devices are on
Old School: Book tours
Old School: Getting reviews in magazines and newspapers
Getting reviews on Amazon
and in book communities where readers hang out like Shelfari,
Old School: Web 1.0 (webmasters needed for HTML and complicated stuff)
New School: Web
(freedom - just a blogger
or wordpress.com blog) Two-way communication!
Old School: Mailing out ARCs, books and big press kits
(electronic press kits)
Old School: Media Escort
Old School: Press releases emailed and mailed to media
SEO press releases sent or using online media matching service like Pitch Rate
Old School: Printing, stamping and mailing newsletters to mailing list accumulated over the years
Old School: Creating & updating media lists
Capturing emails of interested readers using an “opt-in” database program like aweber
Old School: TV interviews
Old School: Authors visiting reading groups and libraries
New School: Teleconferencing or streaming live to many groups at the same time from
the comfort of your home via Skype or a bridge line
Old School: Postcard mailings to readers, bookstores and organizations
Eblast postcard to thousands using target list brokers
like Goodgirlbookclub, BlackGospelPromo
BlackNews.com, or DetroitGospel.com
Old School: Radio Interviews
Old School: Magazine features
Old School: Writing a column in newspapers
Old School: Stigma that self-published books “didn’t cut it” and that’s why they’re not with a
New School: Savvy self-published authors
are doing it big, getting noticed, making money and living a successful
career doing what they love – writing!
Old School: Generating publicity in media outlets and getting no immediate input from audiences
Old School: Getting radio, TV, Newspaper and magazine reviews