Book Authors Realizing They Need To Connect With Fans Themselves... Because Their Publishers Sure Don't

from the CwF dept

The Washington Post has a not-very-surprising article highlighting how many new book authors are discovering that if they want to be successful, their publisher isn't really a huge help (unless you're a big name), and that the path to success often involves doing a ton of "grassroots" marketing yourself. If this all sounds similar to what we keep seeing musicians do today, that's because it is. The article covers some authors who have build up a significant following using the internet and social networking tools to really get themselves out there, connect with people interested in their books and sell the books. There's nothing really new or surprising in the article, but yet another example of how the whole concept of CwF + RtB applies to book authors as well.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2009 @ 12:11am

    Book authors ought to put a clause that licenses their books under a creative commons license in, say, 5 - 7 years from the time the book is released or that automatically licenses it under creative commons the moment the book is out of print. People should try to avoid buying books that have no such clause, though for educational purposes it maybe difficult.

     

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  2.  
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    Jay, Sep 25th, 2009 @ 12:54am

    CwF + RtB

    I wrote an article in July about an author using CwF + RtB and compared his business model to that of an unsigned artist.

    http://www.grindefx.com/authors-taking-marketing-tips-from-musicians-cwf-rtb/

    It definitely makes sense.

     

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  3.  
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    Michael Long, Sep 25th, 2009 @ 1:18am

    Disintermediation

    As far as I'm concerned the entire publishing industry is setting themselves up for disintermediation.

    Back in the day, you might get an advance from a publisher, write a book, and they'd publish it, distribute it, and market it. Today getting an advance is tough unless you're a "name", and the last time a friend of mind sent off a book proposal, they came back and asked him how he planned on marketing his book for them.

    In other words, even if they published his work the publishers saw themselves strictly in the roles of printer and distributer.

    Two roles that, in the forthcoming ebook age, are NOT going to be needed.

    Over the years publishers have gradually done less and less and less, and as such, eventually they will be doing less and less... until at last they end up doing nothing at all.

     

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  4.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 25th, 2009 @ 4:15am

    Aaaaannnnnd....

    Ding! Article saved.

    Finally, something to use as part of a roadmap in case the news ain't good from Baen. :)

     

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  5.  
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    Misanthropist (profile), Sep 25th, 2009 @ 4:58am

    Re:

    You have unwittingly drank from the CC fountain and been brainwashed into thinking that "more copyright = good".

    Think for yourself please. CC is not needed and only serves to strengthen copyright laws.

     

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  6.  
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    Matthew, Sep 25th, 2009 @ 5:40am

    Re: Disintermediation

    Although we often see examples of companies avoiding the development of new business models, I think that this is a ripe opportunity. There are still SOME publishers who provide valuable services, such as editing and marketing. Those publishers who focus on those creative aspects of publishing instead of the mechanical aspects (printing and distribution) will be in high demand.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2009 @ 6:19am

    Am I the only one that sees TD/F64 turning into media/marketing agent of the future?

     

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  8.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Sep 25th, 2009 @ 6:37am

    Re: Re:

    you try releasing something into the public domain... It can't be done, you automatically have copyright on whatever you publish.
    Sure you can ignore "infringement", but still it's a dark place of the law if you do that.
    What is to say that in 5 years from now you won't reverse on your decision to leave everything open and start suing people for infringement.
    With CC, you have clear legal outlines which states what can and cannot be done with your work.

    It's sad that it's needed, though.

     

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  9.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 25th, 2009 @ 6:44am

    Re:

    Huh, I'd consider hiring Floor64 as my "agent" for my work. Gimmie a price list, M&M!!!

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Richard Pachter, Sep 25th, 2009 @ 6:49am

    True That

    I wrote about this a while back in The Miami Herald, tho smart authors have been doing this for years. http://www.richardpachter.com/2008/02/for-authors-marketing-is-mightier-than.html

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Jim, Sep 25th, 2009 @ 6:50am

    Re: Disintermediation

    agreed.
    my wife just wrote her first book. We self published it and we are self promoting it. None of the publishing companies wanted to do anything for us. Yet she got a Library Journal review ( hard to get ) for the book. And we have some local colleges interested in using the book for seminars for graduating students. It's all about self promotion and building your ( emphasis on your) network.
    www.ChooseOnPurpose.com is the website, if you are interested.

     

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  12.  
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    chris (profile), Sep 25th, 2009 @ 7:08am

    rick dakan is a great example

    http://www.rickdakan.com

    i read digital versions of his first two novels for free and ended up buying the print versions for my wife to read. i met rick dakan at notacon this year and i even turned up in one of the youtube videos he posted to his blog. i bought the third novel from him in person and got it signed.

     

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  13.  
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    Esahc (profile), Sep 25th, 2009 @ 8:23am

    My roadmap

    1. Start a blog.
    2. Create good content (and never stop).
    3. Promote blog, both online and in real life (readings at open mike nights, gorilla marketing).
    4. Interact with readers.
    5. Make it easy for people to share your work.
    6. Sell scarce goods (signed books, me, t-shirts, etc).
    7. Make a decent living off of what I create.

     

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  14.  
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    Mr. LemurBoy (profile), Sep 25th, 2009 @ 8:48am

    I'm actually trying to help a friend do this. We're releasing his book (a fantasy novel in serial version, a chapter at a time) at www.aromathus.com and have set up a couple of blogs for him, as well as adding additional information (maps, world history, short stories). Audio podcasts are going to start very soon, and probably some videos on YouTube in short order as well. We don't have a complete print copy of the book ready yet to sell, but that isn't too far down the road.

    And he decided to release this all under a CC license, because we both agreed, we want people to be able to share this. Locking it all up and saying 'Mine mine mine!' doesn't make you any friends. Letting people share it is how people get to know about it.

     

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  15.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 25th, 2009 @ 9:22am

    Re:

    Any interest in helping other authors with this as well? Any demonstrable impact/returns on investment of money/time?

     

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  16.  
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    Mr. LemurBoy (profile), Sep 25th, 2009 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Re:

    We're not seeing a huge return yet, but haven't rolled out everything we plan to. There are some regular readers now, but at this point, there's been more learning how all the tech works than fully engaging the community. Basically, it's still in the experimental phase, but I have high hopes. If it does work out, you bet your sweet bippy I'd want to help other authors as well :)

     

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  17.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 25th, 2009 @ 2:40pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, well, keep me posted. I could be interested in some help....

     

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  18.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Sep 25th, 2009 @ 6:40pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "you try releasing something into the public domain... It can't be done, you automatically have copyright on whatever you publish. "

    In the US, at least, it still can be done.

    The fact that it needs to should be a shooting offense.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 25th, 2009 @ 9:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "The fact that it needs to should be a shooting offense."
    ----------

    Holy hyperbole, Batman...

     

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  20.  
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    kyle clements (profile), Sep 26th, 2009 @ 12:19pm

    AC:
    Book authors ought to put a clause that licenses their books under a creative commons license in, say, 5 - 7 years from the time the book is released or that automatically licenses it under creative commons the moment the book is out of print. People should try to avoid buying books that have no such clause, though for educational purposes it maybe difficult

    While this might be a good idea, it can be difficult in practice.
    I have looked into self-publishing books, and for companies that have their own dedicated bookstore, this is possible.
    The companies that place your self-published books on big internet sales sites, like amazon requite a 'all rights reserved' paragraph to be included before they will let you publish it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    MCM, Sep 26th, 2009 @ 4:40pm

    Re:

    I'm not sure what sites you're using, but I publish a wide range of books, and distribute via Amazon, B&N and others, and I have no issues using CC-NC-SA licenses for everything I produce. I've even got my next book set up to use CC0 without any issues at all.

    Honestly, there's no reason not to use CC-NC on your books, rather than standard copyright. It protects you, and helps your readers know you're not going to sue them for lending their copy to a friend.

    The real adventure is in the more permissive licenses, which is why I'm experimenting with CC0...

     

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