Amazing things you probably didn’t know about the emerging digital market

If you’re an author, you cannot afford to ignore the digital market (anymore, if you have been).

More and more, I meet people who eschew the internet and market themselves in other ways. People, this just isn’t wise. For the more mature set, I get it — it takes some getting used to.

But take a look at the facts: although trade paperbacks still make up the bulk of fiction and non-fiction business, last year (for the first time), Amazon’s digital sales outdistanced paperback sales. For every 100 books the juggernaut sold, 115 e-books moved as well. That could be you.

Borders, partly due to its poor handling of its digital division, recently declared bankruptcy. That could be you (figuratively) too — with a bankrupted dream.

Author Amanda Hocking is a self-made millionaire. And, no matter how many books you read about how to become successful in your craft, there’s always an element of timing and chance to it. She admits as much in her blog. Odds are, if you do everything exactly the way she did them, you won’t be a millionaire too. But, there are some solid concepts that I’d like to give you.

1. Use Smashwords. Smashwords is a platform to distribute e-books. Some of the books are free, while others are reasonably priced. Hocking sells most of her books from .99 cents to $2.99. She pulls down 70%-80& of that. No production cost or postage to pay out of that. She sold 450,000 books in one month. You can do the math on that. (NOTE: Smashwords does not have Digital Rights Management, meaning someone who downloads your book can file share.)

2. Use book blogs to your advantage. For The Revelation Gate, I’m using Tywebbin to schedule a blog tour for me. It works like this: its owner, Tyora Moody, petitions bloggers with sizeable audiences who will review it prior to its publication. Her package also includes two other tiers, which include a Twitter campaign and webcam interviews. Reasonable price ($250) for a professional job. You can petition bloggers yourself, but some do not accept books that are not commercially published (read: self-published or independently published).

Of course, this does not mean you should skip the trade magazines and traditional reviews. I’m suggesting that you supplement them with this. After all, with blog tours, you’re guaranteed a review. With the American Library Association, Bookpage, etc., it’s up to the editor. You may end up in the slush pile.

Hope this helps. Talk to you soon.


Author Brian L. Thompson is the president of Great Nation Publishing and author of the Christian fiction thriller The Lost Testament, and The Revelation Gate, due for release on June 7, 2011. You can read more about Brian by clicking here.

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