Since we’ve been promoting Jerry White’s new book I Will Not Be Broken, I’ve been thinking of the opportunities that the book publishing industry is foregoing by not developing internet and social media marketing strategies. This also means missing out on dollars.
The types of books I’m talking about are non-fiction, non-biographical books that cover political and social issues, business trends, diseases and medical conditions, personal triumphs and tragedies, and exposes. The type of books whose subject matter is already being talked about at length online.
Authors should be encouraged to start their own blogs as they are writing the book. Too much to handle? No – they need not post every day. Only when they see fit. And they needed not rewrite their book on their blog. All they have to do is write about their experiences in writing the book.
But while I think that blogging during the pre-release period is vital, that’s more up to the blogger. Publishing houses should be helping their clients develop blogging strategies, be the creation of a book blog or blogger outreach.
Pick a topic. Global warming. The U.S. Supreme Court. Autism. Steroids in sports. Create Google alerts for certain terms. Use Technorati to find blogs and bloggers that write on the same subjects. Publishing houses should have programs set up helping their clients get involved pre- and post-launch of a book.
This way the blogger will get to know the online communities that must be reached out to BEFORE a book is completed. This was an author will not only familiarize themselves with the potentially hundreds of people out there that are the leading online voices…but those same voices will get to know the author as well. And they will be all the more willing to receive a book to review.
Every day, post launch, an author should receive a synopsis of what is being said on the internet about the subject matter of their book – and the book itself. The author can then engage bloggers in conversation and extend their influence.
I’ve recently talked to few publishing houses and authors. Most publishers have no internet marketing budget. No capability. No understanding of what to do. Most authors have no clue on how an integrated online marketing plan can benefit them. And if they do, they can’t find a publishing house that can help them.
Considering that Jeff Bezos was TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year back in 1999, that’s a shame. And an opportunity.