Believe it or not, the Internet is a Babe in the Woods compared to the venerable book-publishing industry. But what a babe! Before the invention of the Web, publishers had a limited window of opportunity for selling their new titles, which they pursued twice a year with their Spring and Fall lists. With each new list of books released, publishers relegated their old list to the “also-rans” bin. Oh, they kept the books in their inventory, hoping to milk a few additional sales from them. But with newer and fresher titles to promote, they pretty much abandoned the older books to the trash bin.
Today, with the ongoing opportunity for on-line sales, new books stick around practically forever. That creates new promotional venues not only for publishers, who can devote their attentions to their new lists and maintain promotional programs for their old ones, but also for authors.
In today’s marketplace, authors are expected to do their fair share of marketing and promotion–and then some. No longer saddled by the six-months-to-death rule, authors can continue pitching, promoting, marketing, and experimenting with new promotional-and-sales venues even while they work on completing their next works of art. And so can publishers as they prepare their next list.
That means that, if a book doesn’t become a runaway best seller right out of the chute, it still has a chance to perform well. In most cases, that requires the author investing in or stumbling upon (however you want to phrase it) a new, targeted, brilliant, effective series promotions campaign. (Can you say, “Never give up, boys and girls?”)
A case in point is a LitReactor article by Joshua Chaplinsky detailing his experiences in promoting his book. While his comments on professionally designed covers and formatting don’t pertain to EP authors, whose books receive professional editing, design, and development, Chaplinsky’s last three sections are particularly relevant. They’re entitled “Identify your audience;” “This is a marathon, not a sprint,” and “Keep creating content.” Check out the article. In the meantime, remember to keep writing, publishing, and spreading the good news. It’s guaranteed to help you sell more books over the long haul.