Lately it seems my worlds are colliding. I've made my living as a digital business strategist for over a decade now. And for nearly that same amount of time, I've been peripherally involved in the publishing world. The chocolate of one is mixing with the peanut butter of the other.
Here are five themes to help authors adapt and relate to the digital world of 2011 (and beyond) I'm noodling over currently. They appeal directly to authors -- fiction, non-fiction, screenplay... you name it. In the next few weeks(?), I'll flush them out in greater detail, perhaps ad nauseum.
But until I do, here's a taste to whet the appetite:
- Promote you, not your book
It's a personal and connected world out there. People are more influenced by people than promotion. And you should be working on your career as a writer, right? So before you spend another minute planning the most epic website ever for your book, see how your personal digital credibility stacks up.
- No, you can't have a private life
Because of what I just said, this isn't an option. Boycotting social media on principle is premptive career suicide. People will find out where you live. Fans will find out where you are going to be. Your privacy is an illusion. Deal with it.
- Fail fast
The future is unwritten. Authors who try interesting digital experiments will fail more often than they succeed. The trick isn't to avoid failure, it's to quickly recognize it, bail and move on to the next new idea.
- Publishers won't help you
Publishers aren't evil. Some are even pushing the forefront of technology. But they are here to make money. As long as they can make money off of you, they'll be on your side. But they aren't your friend. Nor should they be. It's just business.
- The past has passed
Publishing doesn't mean the same thing as it did 50 years ago. Hell, it doesn't mean the same thing as it did five years ago. Adapt, or die.
Feel free to agree or disagree below. As I said, I'll dig into more of this stuff in the coming [unit of time]. And I'm looking forward to concentrating more on the publishing world!
- On ebooks: A Publisher's View of the Digital Transformation by Dominique Raccah, CEO and Publisher of Sourcebooks (teleread.com)