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Is technology killing or curing the book industry?

Posted by Tom Chalmers on August 12, 2015 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (0)

This is arguably the big question within the book world that continues to rumble on unabated. On the positive side, technology has certainly helped greater numbers of authors in achieving their dream of seeing their work in print. It has also helped provide a much wider route to market, helped authors overcome a number of shortcomings and open up a new world of revenue streams (rights and licensing being only one example).

However, it has also created a numbers of obstacles for an array of content providers and the industry as a whole. As outlined in research compiled as part of Samsung Galaxy S6 edge's Summer Speed Reads initiative, three-quarters of Britons aged 18-25 were reported to take their mobile phone to the poolside or beach, compared with just over a quarter (26%) who plan on reading a book. The average 18 to 25-year-old was also said to check their phone 14 times a day when on holiday.

The survey of 1,500 young people also suggested that one in 10 young adults has never read a novel. 72% of those surveyed prefer short form writing and agree that shorter attention spans are mainly due to technology. In addition it outlined that 24% believe books take too long to read, and 26% believe books are too heavy or take up packing space. Following these findings, 25 of the most popular beach novels have been condensed into 140 characters by an academic for the Twitter generation.

So is technology killing or curing the book industry?

Well the answer is arguably neither. But while sales remain an obvious issue across the market, especially when battling for the attention of the younger generations, technology has also provided authors with a variety of mediums on which to create, promote and sell both themselves and their work.

With this in mind it’s more important than ever for content providers to ensure they have a constantly updated web presence, which could encompass any number of elements, from a well-structured and consistently updated website, a prominent and professionally maintained blog, good social media links, competitions, peer review sites and so on. And to utilise tools and platform, such as IPR License, to make titles available to the widest audience possible. In the modern world the more authors can embrace the efficiencies and opportunities generated by technology the easier it will become to overcome any lingering obstacles it may create.


Manage Your Expectations

Posted by Association of Independent Authors on January 10, 2014 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Source: Sandra Beckwith, Build Book Buzz

An author known for her nonfiction work recently complained that her social media followers hadn’t purchased her first novel.


She was terribly disappointed. In fact, it was clear she felt betrayed by the thousands in her combined social networks.


I understand her frustration. I’m sure that she, like so many other authors, has heard so much about the importance of social media in book promotion. There’s a reasonable expectation that a chunk of those connections will buy your book, right?


Well, maybe not, especially in her case. I’m going to skip the explanation about social media algorithms and why most of your followers don’t even see what you share about your book because there’s another good reason why this author’s social media followers didn’t buy her book: They’re not interested in it.


Who’s in your networks?


Pretty simple, isn’t it?


This author’s social network is built around an impressive nonfiction body of work that has no connection to her novel. Because of that, it’s unrealistic to expect that those she’s connected to for one type of work will automatically be interested in anything she writes in a totally different arena.


It’s a reminder that you need to know your book’s target audience and find ways to get your book title in front of them. They might not be your colleagues on LinkedIn or your high school classmates on Facebook.


I hear from many authors who are crushed because they think that too few of their friends and family are buying their books. I feel their pain, believe me. I come from a large, but seriously disinterested, family. In their defense, my most recent books wouldn’t appeal to my siblings, so I never expected them to make a purchase. (I did expect them to watch my handful of appearances on national television talk shows, though. But that’s another discussion.)


Try to be fair


Chances are, your friends and family aren’t interested in what you’re writing about. And quite frankly, it’s unfair of you to expect them to spend their hard-earned dollars on something they won’t read. You might think they should do it out of loyalty, or maybe curiosity, but I disagree. And judging by the number of authors who complain about close connections who don’t buy their books, I’m a bit of a lone voice here.


Manage your expectations. Let your friends, family, and social media connections know about your books. It’s a smart thing to do, and it’s not a waste of time. But please don’t hold it against them when they don’t buy. They know what they enjoy reading, and it might not be what you write. It’s not personal — it’s “life.”


Accept that your book isn’t for everybody. That includes close and distant connections.


Who do you think is most likely to buy your book?


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