Now Is The Greatest Time In The World To Publish
3 REASONS WHY
There are three reasons why I think now is the greatest time in the world to publish.
Direct Connection With Readers = You can build your own audience through a website, social media, book funnels, and other platforms;
POD Publishing = POD stands for Print On Demand; and
Distribution = There are so many more opportunities or places to sell your books.
Direct Connection With Readers = Today with the ability to create and manage your own connection with readers through your own website, email contact management systems, or any of the available Social Media platforms, you can directly connect with readers to build a relationship. We all know sales depend on relationships, but we often are confused, scared, or intimidated by the process. The reality is all you really need to do is be authentic (yourself) and talk with your readers just like you would your best friend. You share stories, experiences, opinions and you listen for their stories, experiences, and opinions. It is a lovely dance to get to know new people from all over the world and become fast friends even if only through an internet connection. Hopefully one day you will be able to meet in person but until then technology can be a wonderful bridge.
POD Publishing. POD stands for Print On Demand. What that means is now you can print 1 copy or 10 copies or 100 copies for the same low price usually between $2-$5 dollars depending on black and white or color versions of your book. When I started in the business in 1992 you had to purchase 2,500 copies just to get the per-book price down to $2.00-$3.00 where you could make some money selling for $10-$15. That was an upfront investment of $5,000-$15,000. A larger investment than most individuals want to make, but it was the only choice back then. After that, you still had to sell all those copies and distribution was the hardest part. Bookstores, libraries, schools, and other big retailers did not want to deal with self-published authors back then and some still don’t. However, most will at least talk with you now.
Today most online publishers are using Print On Demand and many of them are printing on digital copiers rather than traditional offset presses of the past. When someone orders the book they print a copy and ship it. That’s what happens with KDP Amazon, Ingram Spark, Lulu, and many others.
You can print small quantities with local offset printers but usually, it starts at about 250 copies to get a reasonable price. You can do less but your per book price goes up considerably. The great news is you no longer have to store 1,000, 2,500, or 5,000 copies of your book in your garage then go store to store trying to sell them out of the trunk of your car. You can and should still do this. Always carry copies of your book with you in your car, purse, briefcase. You never know when you will have an opportunity to share your story with someone or who they might turn out to be. Can you say influencer, regional sales manager, or chief executive officer?
Distribution = There are so many more opportunities or places to sell your books today online and offline. Let’s start with offline. Like I mentioned above you should plan into your schedule a day or two every month to visit local outlets. I do recommend that you order a few POD author copies for 2 reasons:
1. you always make more money when you sell yourself and
2. you should make a point of getting to know your local community influencers.
You should go visit your local libraries, bookstores, big box stores, or topic-related retail outlets, organizations, associations, non-profits and make a connection with the Store Manager or Executive Director. You never know what kind of partnership you can create. I will be talking more about offline marketing and distribution that still works today in future articles.
Next, let me mention online platforms as I said, you can and should create your own website to build a presence and brand, to continue sharing information, knowledge, and wisdom, to capture your readers so you build your own list, and so that you can continue the conversation once someone has bought your book. This should lead the reader to your website where you can just continue to build a stronger relationship with them, direct them to the next thing you want them to do, buy, or participate in.
The other online opportunity is Social Media platforms like Linked In, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and so many more the list seems endless. These are platforms where you can create your own personal and/or business page and connect with potential readers. They are an invaluable tool that didn’t exist even a few years ago. You might be saying to yourself, “Liz I know I need to be on those platforms, but which ones do I have to join?” or maybe you are thinking “Liz I don’t have time to join all those social media platforms.” You are right none of us have time to join all of them.
So to answer your first question “Which platform?” The short answer is “The platform where your reader hangs out.” Not the platform you hang out on. The platform that your customer or client goes to so they can get educated, entertained, or informed. That is why our original conversations about your audience are so important. (If you missed those articles go back through the archive and read them.) If you know your reader’s likes and dislikes you can connect with them faster and more authentically. You also can avoid hours and years of wasted time, effort, and yes, even money. It doesn’t help you to promote to people on a platform that will never buy from you just so you can say “I am on so and so social media.” Go back to the research on your ideal reader then start with one platform. You can always add another platform once you have successfully conquered the first one.
I will be talking about some out-of-the-box Distribution SECRETS in future articles so be sure to subscribe today to get all the details.
So here are 3 reasons why today is the greatest time in the world to publish. If you are here you already dream of writing a best-seller so let’s continue the author adventure together. Remember if you have questions you can email email@example.com or you can post them in the comments below. If there is a particular topic you would like for me to address you can also email or comment.
Here’s to your publishing success, Liz