Jane Aboyoun, CTO of the New York Public Library, has an interesting problem. As the world goes digital, what’s the role of a library any more when books take up so much space while e-books are so much simpler to access with a wider selection? What Jane sees in the future is that the library will be less of a place to find books and more of a community space where people can meet. The emphasis will be more on classes and meetings and less on printed books.
With libraries providing much less emphasis on printed books, that means e-books will continue growing in popularity. In the old days, authors needed bookstores and libraries to help people discover their books. Nowadays, the Internet lets people discover e-books from all over the world, any time of the day.
For self-published authors, that means you have to market your e-books all by yourself. You can’t rely on libraries or bookstores to help you get your book in front of the public. You now have to do it all by yourself. The sure way to fail is to publish your e-book, throw it on Amazon and other e-bookr retailers like Nook and Kobo, and hope people will discover your e-book.
Considering hundreds of other people are also publishing their e-books on Amazon, Nook, and Kobo, that means your e-book will get buried day by day and struggle to fight for attention against an ever growing number of rivals.
That’s why you absolutely must publicize your e-books yourself. Create a blog, a Facebook page, a web site, anything to put your e-book out in front of people who want your information. You now have to be less of an author and more of your own publicist, marketer, and advertiser. If you just want to write, then you better get someone to help you market, publicize, and advertise your e-books. If you can’t afford to hire someone to do that for you, then you’ll have to do it yourself. That’s the new reality.
If you want to be a successful author, you must also be a successful marketer, advertiser, and publicist. Most writers are introverts who prefer to hide behind the printed page and let others do the hard work of public relations. That doesn’t work in today’s society where people buy e-books based on reputation and less on content or quality. Remember, printed books let people skim through them to see if it’s interesting. E-books can’t offer that experience as easily, which means you absolutely need to publicize your e-books yourself on the Internet.
If marketing, advertising, and publicizing your e-book doesn’t sound like fun, how does selling zero copies of your e-book sound like? Decide what’s less fun and do the opposite.
Self-published authors must be marketers, advertisers, and publicists as well. It’s the fastest way to increase your chances of success since you can’t rely on libraries and bookstores to do that for you any more.