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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Comments on “Book Authors Realizing They Need To Connect With Fans Themselves… Because Their Publishers Sure Don't”

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21 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Marcel de Jong (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Michael Long (profile) says:

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.

Matthew says:

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.

Jim (profile) says:

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.
http://www.ChooseOnPurpose.com is the website, if you are interested.

Mr. LemurBoy (profile) says:

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 http://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.

Mr. LemurBoy (profile) says:

Re: 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 🙂

kyle clements (profile) says:

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.

MCM (profile) says:

Re: 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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