Tim O’Reilly recently gave an interesting speech and interview at the Tools of Change conference on the future of book publishing. Following are some key points that I took away from them:
- Obscurity is the biggest threat that authors face.
- Things change because creative people see problems to solve and are not afraid of the future. The people who face those problems are searching for solutions and turn into problem solvers.
- Cross-media creators collaborate with others to develop synergies between formats to increase the success of each format – videos referencing the book increase book sales, book references to the videos increase video views (and ad revenue) and a brand’s overall popularity enables it’s owners to explore new opportunities such as events.
- Reviews are imperative for a book, and now fans are rating and reviewing books on Goodreads more than they are on Amazon. (A good possibility as to why Amazon recently bought Goodreads.)
- Self-publishing is the wave of the future.
- Media trends seem to follow cycles where innovative artists operate independently for awhile but then consolidate on the few platforms that are aggregating the most attention; driving traffic for your book is difficult and expensive – especially for the first million viewers.
- Focus on your vision rather than copying others; it is much more fun to be the leader.
Recent research from Digital Book World points out that authors still look to traditional publishers for the following:
- A seal of approval to help legitimize their book
- Sales and distribution into bookstores
- Marketing to help rise above the crowd
WestBow Press is uniquely positioned to help authors ride the wave of self-publishing while experiencing the benefits that come from being affiliated with a traditional publisher. Look for news on what this can mean for your book in the weeks to come.
What problems are you trying to solve through your writing?
What do you want in a book publisher?