Remember this post I made a while ago? How I fervently decreed that Kindles (and all ebook readers alike) should be used as kindling and burned? Yeah, well, I kind of, maybe, more than quite possibly… erm, want… one.
Okay, here’s my reasoning. I like to travel, and when I travel I like to bring 5-6 books with me (you never know when you’re going to have a chance to read, how much TIME you’ll have to read, and what you’ll be in the MOOD to read when/if you actually have time to, so you need to bring a variety!), and a Kindle will greatly reduce on my additional baggage fees—or weight overages, however I choose to pack for that particular trip. Also, if you go to the Kindle store, they give away a LOT of free books. And not just the classics. They’re giving away books as promotions from the likes of James Patterson and Steve Berry. And… it just looks to damn COOL.
Granted, the last one isn’t the best argument I have for wanting one, but any technophile will understand. I’ve looked at the Sony Reader and am not impressed with its interface OR its lack of wireless connectivity. Why would I want to connect it to my computer to download books when this is a free wireless service with Kindle? Barnes & Noble’s Nook has also been announced, but I have a problem with that one too. I don’t like the second color screen on the reader. It seems like a very clunky way to browse for books. And does my normal hardcover or paperback have something like that? No. And I’m looking for a book ALTERNATIVE. I don’t want to be distracted by anything while I’m reading.
Also, to be honest, I’ve been slacking in the reading department lately. I haven’t been allotting myself enough time to read books in a reasonable amount of time, so it’s been taking me a lot longer than usual. I think that this’ll help with my reading levels (hopefully).
What ultimately changed my mind? I don’t really know. When I first started looking at digital book readers, it was in the early stages of their development. Screen quality was terrible, prices ridiculous, and they (surprisingly) didn’t have much storage. My faith in them was minimal (or should I say nonexistent?), so I brushed them off. But now… liquid paper displays, 3G wireless connectivity, holds up to 1500 books, and weighs only 10.2 ounces! Think of all the money I’ll save in baggage fees!!!
It’s not going to replace my paper books if I get it, not by a long shot. Most likely I’ll own the paper AND e-versions of the books, because I’m crazy like that. But you never know, either. I swore up and down when MP3s first came onto the market that I would NEVER buy one. I wanted the physical CD! But now, a few years later, I exclusively buy MP3s. But there’s a big difference between music and books, and I don’t think I’m ever going to stop buying physical books the way I’ve stopped buying CDs. I like the way they look against my wall, and I love the feel of them in my hands. My ears can’t tell the difference, but my hands and eyes sure can. My Kindle would only be an accessory.
What does everyone else think about the craze? Just a fad or the future of publishing?
Kyle W. Kerr
I may be getting a little ahead of myself, but I’ve already started planning the marketing campaign for my first novel, Love, Simon. I don’t have an agent, and the book certainly doesn’t have a publisher, but I can’t help thinking about how it’s going to be presented to the world. How will everyone know what I’ve written?
The fact of the matter is that most publishing houses no longer have the resources to promote every book they release. It’s unfortunate, but in this climate we have to be grateful just being published.
This means that the brunt of the marketing will fall onto my shoulders. I don’t begrudge my future publisher this; I take on the mantle willingly! Besides, I’ve got a slight ace in the hole… my degree in Marketing.
Not that that’s going to help me IMMENSELY. I mean, the world is filled with a many and varied people. But hopefully it’ll give me an edge.
There are plenty of options for the marketing savvy. You have to have persistence, a little cash (for some things, unfortunately), and a lot of imagination. Not only can your book get lost in the bookstore with all the new releases coming out each year, but your voice can get drowned out in a sea of other writers in the same boat as you are, all trying to find those readers who’ll get them on the bestseller lists and on to their next book.
That’s where the imagination comes in.
The internet is the newest frontier in marketing. It’s called Viral Marketing. Websites, blogs, Facebook/Twitter pages. Everyone’s got one or all of these. I do. And you’d be stupid not to. Facebook is one of the most visited sites on the internet, and Twitter is growing rapidly (MySpace is SO 2000). In fact, my website blog, my FB page, and Twitter account are all linked. Whenever I post a Tweet, it updates my FB status. And the moment I hit SUBMIT on this Journal entry, it’ll be sent to both my Twitter AND FB accounts. This way, people can follow me in a number of ways, whichever way they’re most comfortable with. Twitter, FB, RSS feeds, and by email. I’m everywhere I can possibly be to get to more potential readers.
Right now it’s mostly friends, other writers, and family members who follow me, but I know one day I’ll have readers, and I’m building up my archives of content for when they come.
Make friends with other writers, both bestsellers and beginners. The more connections you make, the better you’ll be. Share your friends and your resources with one another. When one of you sells a book, do guest posts on the other’s blog. If you help your friends, they’ll help you in return. We’re all in this together!
Find ways to keep your readers involved. Hold contests (everyone likes freebies! Especially if they’re books!), answer questions, let them know you appreciate them. You can’t just post to your blog and not respond. They’ll keep coming back because they’ll feel involved, and you need to keep your name fresh in their mind over the year(s) it takes you to get out your next book.
But you have to think out of the box as well. Now, I’m not going to give out all of my ideas (sorry!), but you have to do things in ways that no one else has thought of yet, or at least in ways that haven’t been oversaturated yet. People remember interesting and new.
Finally, I’m going to say… THINK FREE.
Talk to your publishers about giving out free e-versions of your book. I’ve downloaded a number of these and, the ones I like (I usually only read a chapter or two), I buy. I’m not about to sit and read 80-100k word books on my computer, but it’s enough to get me hooked. AND, I can send it to my friends to try and get THEM hooked. Some people will be satisfied reading an entire book on their computer, but the majority that like it will buy it, and they’ll be more willing to spend money on it when they remember you tried to give it to them for free in the first place.
So, if you haven’t started thinking about your marketing plan, maybe it’s about time you did. It wouldn’t hurt to have some ideas in mind when you sit down with your future publisher. And it’s never too early to start recruiting readers.
And I’ll try to follow my own advice and keep the fresh content coming!
Kyle W. Kerr