Digital Book World: Disconnect and 10 Tweet Observations
Posted by Bob Mayer
The vast majority of twitterers claim to be techno-savvy, publishing experts, masters of their domain. They dispense wisdom about the digital world and where it’s going and how to use it, yada yada and I had the brisque.
But 90% of the so called techno-savvy publishing experts, when I check their twitter numbers, have less than 1000 followers and less than 1000 people they follow. Which indicates to me they consider Twitter insignificant and not worth their time. Yet, they sit on panels and preach the importance of social media for authors and selling books.
I call that do as I say, not as I do. It also tells me many have no idea what they’re talking about when they discuss marketing books via social media. Because most of them have no idea how to actually do it themselves.
There are exceptions. @smartbitches is well established on social media (despite the shock of google at romance being #1 seller). @JaneFriedman is a constant presence. @MichaelHyatt of Thomas Nelson is one of the leaders in using social media as a publisher. These are people who should be listened to. Because they’ve done it.
In essence, 99% of the ‘advice’ coming out of it is generic, or too specific, or flat out pointed in the wrong direction, as you’ll see below where I pick 10 tweets and respond.
The other key is that most people are protecting their turf. Publishers are trying to point out how they hold the keys to the future. Brick and mortar bookstores are trying to hang on with their fingernails. Libraries want to stay alive. Tech people think the software and hardware and data mining hold the key. Authors, well, actually I didn’t hear about any authors on panels or doing workshops.
So let’s comment on 10 tweets:
Good content without audience or distribution is a guarantee of $0 ROI.
Actually distribution isn’t hard any more. It’s called digital, which is the name of the conference. We’ve got great ROI and audience at Who Dares Wins Publishing, but started with great content.
Trial and error is sometimes the best way to figure out what customers want.
Actually, it’s not, but an expert said it, so it must be true. We had plenty of trial and error at WDWPUB, so I will agree it is one way to find out. But there’s a difference between trial and error and being ignorant. Remember I want my MTV and the music business? I want my Kindle and content.
What can we do to help indies?
What can indies do to help authors? Most genre authors, especially romance, are treated with disdain by indies. And why do we care so much about brick and mortar? WDWPUB is an indie bookstore. Go to our web site. Buy some books. Please support us. We’re not going out of business, BTW. Last week was our best week ever and our web site outsold our books on Amazon, but we do enjoy our Amazon business. Want a business model for selling books that works? We’d be glad to speak at your next conference.
Zero mention of word of mouth. How to spark that tsunami of trad and self-pubbed books?
Good point. Word of mouth is #1 way to sell books. Look at Snooki. Because if someone knew how to do it, they’d have been doing it for decades.
You can build something wonderful but you have to have someplace to sell it (and someone to sell it to).
Really? So profound, I’m speechless.
Are there any authors at #DBW11?
ROFL. Are you kidding? We only produce the product. Most of these conferences don’t think authors have anything to contribute, or if they do, they recruit bestsellers or the usual suspects. But most of publishing has treated all but their superstar authors as replaceable parts for decades.
Every book is going to become a bookstore. Every book is an e-commerce opportunity.
Huh? Sounds neat, but what exactly does that mean? Actually, I think at WDWPUB we’ve already done it. Wondering why we weren’t invited to speak? Did the person who said this, do this? That’s my big question—all these great quotes. Say ‘em when you’ve done ‘em and proven ‘em.
Highly disappointed that the State of the Union address doesn’t discuss the effect of ebooks on small businesses.
This was a tongue in cheek tweet. But it highlights something that has always bothered me. An indie bookstore goes out of business, it’s a story in the local paper, people rally to try to save it, everyone laments. An indie writer goes out of business the only people who notice are the author’s family. eBooks are making my small business, Who Dares Wins Publishing. Awfully sorry we followed the business, saw what was coming, took advantage of opportunity and are now selling thousands of books a month. I’m sure there were many people lamenting the fate of their local blacksmith and carriage maker as they drove by in their new car. Damn nice fella, old Smithie, maybe he can go work in the new Ford factory. I love bookstores. But I also love being in reality.
@SmartBitches: Publishers are not willing to underwrite costs of social media. Pubs are ok with losing money in old ways, not in new ways #dbw11
Exactly. Reacting, not acting.
What can pubs do to help indies?
Once more, I’m an indie. I don’t need publishers’ help. Because I’m also a publisher. And a bookstore. And an author. All we need at Who Dares Wins Publishing are the most important people in the entire business: READERS.
10 tweets and comments tomorrow.
Write It Forward!
About Bob MayerBob Mayer is a NY Times Bestselling author, graduate of West Point, former Green Beret (including commanding an A-Team) and the feeder of two Yellow Labs, most famously Cool Gus. He's had over 60 books published including the #1 series Area 51, Atlantis and The Green Berets. Born in the Bronx, having traveled the world (usually not tourist spots), he now lives peacefully with his wife, and said labs, at Write on the River, TN.
Posted on January 25, 2011, in DBW11, Publishing Options, Social Media and the Writer and tagged Bob Mayer, Book Writing, books, business, Digital Book World, Digital Books, E-book, eBooks, ePublishing, fiction, Future, Jane Friedman, marketing, Michael Hyatt, Publishing, Self-Publishing, SmartBitches, social media, Technology, Technology and Publishing, The Future of Publishing, Twitter, WDWPUB, writer, Writer Resources, Writers Resources, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.