Publishing houses traditionally published books but today, authors take on this responsibility themselves. They use their visibility on social media platforms, connections with other authors and the relationship with media outlets to reach their target audience of potential readers.
The level of their influence and reach affects how many books they are able to sell. This is not to say that quality does not play an important role too. In 2020, book publishing and marketing lives largely online and interviews, podcasts, webinars and workshops are all proving to be viable alternatives to the traditional book launch.
Story and writing style have a big part to play in creating the reputation of an author. Rich and concise writing is still as important as ever and there are many free online resources to help authors improve their writing.
It is also vital for authors to be familiar with what is going on in the publishing world and constantly reading new books helps to make them better writers. Writing a book can take months or years and authors often pour their hearts and souls into them.
Aggressively rewriting and editing is very important today in a time when most authors are self-publishing. Quality writing can set authors apart in a saturated marketplace and this means honing their skills and really knowing their craft.
Today authors need to have a presence online. The more visible authors are, the more visible a new book will be.
Creating and maintaining a website helps authors to reach readers. At the very least, the website should contain a photo, bio and writing samples. Collecting email subscribers can help to improve readership for new books. When someone types an author’s name to a search engine, they should be able to find the author’s website.
Even established authors can benefit from publishing articles online. It is not uncommon for them to write editorials giving their expertise on topics related to their book. When authors of new books write articles about a topic they care about, readers may respond and click a link to the book.
An active presence on social media is essential to success as a writer today. Aspiring writers need to know how to use social media channels to entice potential readers with writing snippets and promotional materials. Authors should also promote the books of other authors, like posts on their social media accounts and share their events.
Publishing a book in 2020
More and more people are moving from traditional publishing to self-publishing today. There are various pros and cons when it comes to both types of publishing.
The pros and cons of traditional publishing
One of the advantages of traditional publishing is that publishers take on all the risks. Authors pay no out-of-pocket expenses, may receive advance royalties and have the benefit of professional editing and design as well as a whole team to market and promote a book. However, it is rare to land a book deal.
Authors have little control over the process as the publishers have the final say on everything. Authors also tend to overestimate the profits they’ll make.
The pros and cons of self-publishing
Self-publishing means the author takes all the risks but also has the benefit of total control over the process. The author determines the publishing timeline and it is possible to make the end product look very professional today with all the new software programs available.
Print-on-demand technology means people can order two or three books at a time for the same cost per book as they would normally pay if they were buying hundreds. The author sets the price and after expenses, all the profits belong to the author.
One of the problems of self-publishing is that anyone can self-publish so the market is glutted and it can be hard to stand out. Everything also falls on the author and it can be difficult to master all that’s required to not only write the book but publish and market it too.
Self-publishing companies offer authors all the services they require to self-publish. There are various popular online platforms for self-publishing.
These include Amazon’s Create Space which is a print-on-demand option and Kindle Direct Publishing where authors can publish an ebook online for purchase on Kindle apps. iBooks allows authors to publish books to the Apple iBooks store. Ebooks and audiobooks have become very popular in 2020.
Book marketing strategies for 2020
Online interviews, webinars, podcasts and workshops are all helping authors to market their books in 2020. The world is a busy place and book marketing is all about having a conversation with the reader.
It is important for authors to plan how to keep the conversation and sales going. Small consistent marketing efforts can be very successful, such as having a fun contest on social media.
Some of the virtual events taking place in 2020 include author appearances, virtual book tours and online readings. Online readings offer authors many benefits. They can help authors to reach a wider audience, reduce costs and easily track data for attendance and measure results.
Virtual podcasts where authors discuss their craft with other authors or hold webinars in an area of expertise are also popular.
With book festivals moving online, previous barriers to attendance like geographical distance or lack of transport are no longer an issue. The list of book events for 2020 and 2021 is extensive.
Virtual events do have some downsides – the technology can pose a challenge and authors miss out on meeting readers in person. However, in 2020 physical events have largely been canceled and virtual events are proving to be invaluable.
A final word
Success in writing, publishing, and marketing a book in 2020 is possible but it requires concerted effort. More than ever, it requires authors to be connected to their readers and to focus on building relationships with them. This means having an online presence, being on social media and making use of virtual opportunities, like holding online readings.
Charlie Svensson is an academic writer. He has pro-level knowledge in the writing field owing to his years of experience and strong academic background. He is currently writing a book on decoding the psyche of college toppers and plans to release it around December this year.