Ever tried to publish a book or sell music without a publisher or recording studio? Its not easy to be successful without their marketing efforts. But, publishers and recording studios hurt both creators and consumers because they don’t take risks. Hence some phenomenal artists fail and the public gets too few options and more of same old thing.
Enter social media. Now artists can effectively sell their works to a public hungry for new and interesting options. Social media acts to match consumers with new talent.
Using Social Media to Monetize Your Talents
You can use social media in much the same way as a publisher/ recording studio uses traditional promotion. Warren Whitlock has been extremely successful promoting his books this way and offers lots of recommendations for those who want to do the same (for a fee – see here for more information).
Strategies include including excerpts from the book in social media, using influencers to promote your book, developing a community of enthusiastic readers, and using multiple social networks to promote your book. Many of these strategies are common to any type of social media marketing. However, yesterday I heard an author discuss some strategies specific to book marketing and thought I’d share them with you.
I also have a “friend”, Martha Maria who records as Marmelodian, and uses social media to promote both her songwriting and recording. Check her out here.
Social media works for these artists because it is cheap, can go viral, is easily communicated, and is conducive for building community.
But, publishers do more than simply market books, they are instrumental in editing them, then distributing them to the public.
How to Publish Your Book through Social Media
Cory Doctorow is a best selling science fiction author whose new book, “With a Little Help” was put together by his online community and is distributed either online for free or as a printed book for a fee. All this without a publisher. He publishes on demand, so the book is evolving based on feedback from his community.
Here’s how he’s making money without a publisher:
- He monetizes typos – if you find a typo in the book, he’ll fix it and include a footnote thanking you for finding the typo. You may buy a copy of the book so you can show your friends your footnote. This also performs the editing function normally performed by editors.
- He accepts donations. Sometimes things people aren’t willing to pay for, they’ll donate to. He can only do this without a publisher.
- He sells printed books for readers who prefer this to an ebook, which is free. Readers can pick from optional covers so their book is customized for them.
- He also sells limited edition hard cover books for $275 each. Not only are these hand-sewn, they include an audio version and end-papers containing letters from friends, a friends funny report card from second grade, and a watercolor painted by another friend, as well as other unique paper items.
He estimates this strategy will net him between $70,000 and $80,000. Not too bad.