With Borders filing bankruptcy and the traditional retail market shifting, a new author might wonder what in the world they've gotten themselves into.
But the answer is actually refreshing - what you've gotten yourself into is FREEDOM at the most exciting time in history to be an author!
Ten or fifteen years ago, bookstores were the primary place to buy books. Not so today. The internet has changed how consumers discover, preview, and purchase books. The market has fragmented into millions of smaller, highly dedicated, and sometimes fanatical markets. And in the meantime, instead of all customers coming to the bookstore to find what they want, today's author must take their message to that fanatic. In other words, the shackles are off, and it is time to approach and engage your audience!
Authors must ask themselves, "Who are the people that need my book the most, and where are they?"
If you haven't asked (and answered) that question, it is long overdue.
Why? Because there is no magic formula to follow for selling books. Every book and every author is different. What enables one book to succeed may fail miserably for the next. Not every book is for every person.
Authors in today's market must be willing and able to work every angle. So while there may not be a secret formula, but there is a common denominator to a book's success - hard work. If an author will work hard to discover and engage the fanatic audience, success can be found.
The good news is that authors today have the freedom to explore outside the walls of the bookstore and find the fanatic on a variety of levels. Again, this is a very good thing for authors, as it enables the author to have the mindset of an entrepreneur. After all, your book is your business, and it is wise in business to have multiple revenue streams and to diversify, rather than putting all your eggs in one basket.
Diversifying means working the big box retailers, partnering with the local "mom & pop" bookstore, having your book available as an e-book, and taking your book to your core audience at speaking engagements, parades, book fairs, schools, churches, luncheons, and anywhere else that potential fanatics may be.
The great thing about engaging the fanatic audience is that word can spread like wildfire among that group. When you think about being a fanatic - or fan - of a certain team, you engage at a base and usually an emotional level with other fanatics in a variety of ways - in the stands at the game, online, in restaurants, or over the phone. You talk about the team, the ownership, the trades they made (or didn't make) that did (or didn't) make the team, the latest box score, the way the refs robbed them, etc.
In the past year my wife took up Zumba, and you could not find a more dedicated group of fanatics for this form of exercise. My daughter likes Justin Bieber (screaming, 13-year-old fanatics are as crazy as it gets), and my son follows the WWE (whose fan base is so large and rabid that more fans attended WWE events last year than the World Series, the Super Bowl, and the NBA Finals combined.)
The point is this - there are fanatics for your material, and you must engage them. That point alone is likely the difference between the success and failure of your book. At Tate Publishing, we believe in finding and marketing authors to their fan base. Those people may or may not darken the door of a bookstore. But believe it or not...they are out there, waiting to be engaged. They are waiting for the next war or romance novel, waiting for the next parenting tip, waiting for that next children's book about frogs playing baseball that lights up their child's face.
What are you going to do, now that you are free to engage the fanatic?