My second book in the feisty family series Patchwork Family came out the end of March. Unlike my first novel Feisty Family Values, I'm taking the marketing a little slower and more selectively. Why? I'm older? Nah. It's because it's not my first book release. I have a little more experience now, and plan to repeat what worked and not repeat what wasn't as successful. Duh, right?
In 2010, when FFV came out, electronic publishing was just gaining in popularity. The electronic rights weren't even mentioned in the contract I signed in 2008. That has definitely changed. Over the past four years I've watched as electronic books have moved up in popularity and in some areas surpassed print books. I sold more print copies of FFV, but things will probably change over time, and electronic sales will pass it. Also, new print-on-demand publishers keep your books available basically forever, and you don't have unsold stock gathering dust.
My new publisher says to anticipate electronic sales being higher than print. Everything is digital now and tech rules. That doesn't mean there won't be lots of people who enjoy reading a paper book, obviously paper is not dead. It's demise has been incorrectly forecast for centuries. But the reader likes the convenience of hundreds of books at their fingertips, a lower price point, and the ability to carry that library around in a single reader. Convenience rules.
Personally, I read both paper and ebook. And if I'm on a road trip I enjoy audio books. With gas over $3 a gallon we don't take as many road trips, but it won't stop most families from driving to the lake or mountains to enjoy a bit of rest and relaxation. When I'm on vacation - I read. When I travel for work - I read. When I'm stuck behind a train - I read. I'm not alone. Why else would people be reading on their cell phones, if not for the ready convenience?
Okay, I digress. Because of the change in the publishing industry authors have had to change their marketing strategies. Social Media is a great way to build an audience and let them know about events - like your new book release. I've reconnected with extended family and friends who moved away through Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and I love the fact that I can reach out immediately with news.
Goodreads.com and Amazon.com are also great ways to keep some buzz going. I love visiting bookstores (especially the indies) and libraries. They have always been successful venues to talk about writing, books and answer reader questions. So, you'll see events on my calendar for both, whenever possible. I found out something the other day I didn't know. Not everyone knows what happens at a reading & signing event. My neighbor had no idea we talked about why an author wrote the story, or where thet got the inspiration for the characters. She just thought you bought the book and read it. The end.
I love talking about books I've read to other readers, leaving reviews all over the place, sharing my joy. When I get the opportunity to meet a favorite author I'm filled with questions about not only the story, but them personally. It's a wonderful exchange and very satisfying for an author and hopefully for the reader, too. If you've never attended an author reading and signing, I highly recommend it. You meet the coolest people. Face it, readers are way cool!
Another thing I do as a reader, I make sure my local library has a copy of my favorite books, so when I talk about them my friends have easy access. I also share my copies until they are tired and well worn. Books make great gifts to reading friends. If you read the same types of books, they will no doubt love the same books you do. So Share! Tell everyone you know, because they may have missed hearing about the story.
New book releases from favorite authors are like birthday parties. We get to hold the new baby, coo over it, and unlike someone else's baby - we can take this one home!