The other day, Cassandra made a comment on my post about digital publishing as investing:
The biggest hurdle for digital publishing outside of the main storefronts for individuals will be marketing.
Companies that put out digital publications have an advantage as their audience is likely already coming to their website for content and downloading an e-book from their e-commerce site will likely not be much of a stretch.
But the individual trying to publish is also going to have to market their wares. So again, trade-off.
First, keep in mind that authors can sell from their own websites as well.
I’m not sure about the overall premise. While there’s a lot more options for purchasers, there’s a lot less competition.
Yes, less competition.
•You don’t have to worry about whether or not your book is on an endcap, or face-out.
•You can afford to let your first book stay in print and for sale for months and years. That’s something that is simply impossible to do in any location where physical rents are paid, unless that book constantly sells at a volume high enough to pay the rent for the shelf space.
•You can afford to take the time for folks to come to you – because you’re not focused on first-week sales.
You don’t have to find your market – you can let your market find you.
Kris Rusch wrote an entire bit about that where authors have hurt themselves with self-promotion (which I can’t find right now); if someone has a link, let me know.
But here’s the keys:
•Your biggest publicity is writing more.
•Your second biggest publicity is being genuine and honest about yourself, your work, likes, and dislikes. (See The Cluetrain Manifesto or Crush It! for more.)
Only after those two things comes the rest (and in order of importance, IMHO):
I’ll actually be testing this with The Crimson Pact over the course of the summer. I’ve noticed that I get the most publicity from being at cons, being on panels, and generally being myself. You know, stuff I do anyway because I’m a loudmouth know-it-all, and try to be vaguely entertaining while being such.
I’ll be doing that all summer long – while talking about The Crimson Pact. At the same time, the second volume of the Crimson Pact – along with a special edition – will be coming out during the summer. I’m betting that those will all help sales in a sustained way – and I’ll share the results with all of you.