It’s no secret that publishing today is much different than it was even 5 or 10 years ago. For one thing, technology has made it easier than ever to get a book developed.
It used to be that books were only printed in what is commonly referred to as “offset printing.” They still are printed this way. But offset printing requires very expensive press equipment with complicated set-up procedures. As a consequence, if you don’t print and bind at least a few thousand copies, your cost per book will likely be more than what you can sell your book for.
But with digital technology advances all that has changed. Now you can cost effectively print books one at a time if necessary. In addition, many authors are electing to publish their book in ebook format only. As a result, the hurdle of having the gumption, the faith, and the finances it takes to tie up your capital (and storage space) to print boxes and boxes of books is gone.
But with every new technological advance, there is often new challenges. Because the number of books you have to print to have a viable cost of goods has been so dramatically reduced, literally millions of people have entered the publishing arena. As a result, while it’s never been easier to get your message out in print, it’s never been harder to get your message noticed by the audience who most likely will benefit from what you have to say.
Did you know that there are more than a million new book titled published every year? Amazon, the world’s largest bookstore, offers you more than ten million titles. Getting noticed, making a sale there may be just a click away, but unless you are creating demand and driving traffic to Amazon, don’t count on customers randomly searching for and finding your title. Talk about a proverbial needle in a haystack.
I like how Seth Godin defines publishing: as the work of investing in intellectual property and monetizing it by bringing it to people who want to pay for it.
Seth understands that publishing today still has value—if you do it properly. Notice that publishing is an “investment.” That means for the vast majority of people, you won’t get a publisher to act as your literary knight in shining armor to come swooping in offering to get your message published for free and pay you royalties on what they sell. It does happen. Just not very often. No, you have to have a market-driven or perhaps ministry-driven reason to want to invest the time, emotional energy and money it takes to publish.
Once you make that decision, you have to have a strategy to get your investment into the hands of people willing to pay for it…or find enough people willing to give you money so you can afford to give your book away. Again, no easy task. But the good news is there are tons, yes, TONS of creative and effective strategies out there that can help you make that critical connection between what you have to say and the people who will benefit from reading it. Here is where you need a publisher to help you. Or, if you elect to self-publish, you need a coach, advisor, or just have the know-how to work these publishing strategies. They are out there. In my next blog I’ll go over some of these strategies.
For now, let me leave you with these five reasons to consider entering into the Publishing New World…
- Thought Leadership – Being a published author is still considered a mark of achievement. Authors are perceived as “thought leaders” as experts in the field that their book covers simply due to the fact that they have invested the time and research required to write and publish the book in the first place.
- Competitive Differentiation – You run a business or offer a professional service. While your customers may be sending eblasts, handing out flyers or refrigerator magnets, you offer a prospective client a book, and you immediately stand out and being unique and potentially better than your competition.
- Establishing Trust – If someone spends any amount of time reading what you have to say, they are building a connection, a bond, with you. The more time a person spends with your message, the more bonded, the more connected they are with you.
- Earning the Right to be Heard – When you give someone a book that offers valuable insight, information, or inspiration that will help make that person’s life better in some way, you have done something good for them. I call that content marketing. You gave information to help them which endears that person to you. You’ve earned the right to be heard.
- Make People Hungry – This is my favorite benefit. There is an art to writing a book that gives enough information to be perceived as valuable and helpful to the reader and yet you want to leave them hungry for more. Your first novel ought to make the reader hungry to read the next edition. Your book on losing weight ought to make the reader eager (ok, so maybe “hungry” isn’t the best word to use here :-)) to sign up for your weight loss program or if you wrote a book on investing, sign up for your very expensive newsletter on insider trading secrets your broker doesn’t know.
Despite the challenges and opportunities that this new publishing world offers, it’s a world more and more people are discovering and enjoying!
If you have questions about the publishing progress, please reach out to me at 407-563-4806.