The book-publishing world has plunged from the ranks of standardized, regulated industries into a free-for-all. Anybody can jump into the foray and grasp at its elusive straws. Rules don't exist within its vague boundaries, logical organization has left the building, and the proverbial needle in a haystack looks like a sure find beside the unrealized hopes of myriad writers. Credibility takes a back seat to gimmicks, schemes, and outright lies. Or so the article implies to me. Social media — specifically Facebook and Twitter — as a viable vehicle for e-publishing promotion, he indicates, is doomed to slither off into extinction and leave behind disillusioned authors without that marketplace in which to showcase their wares.
Is e-pubbing through social media destined to suffer a premature death? If it does, surely something more marvelous will surface to take its place. Writers and marketers, who possess some of the world’s most innovative imaginations, will not be deterred when old dead-ends segue into new highways to success. The noted article may accurately prophesy the end of an era that has seen mind-boggling growth. On the other hand, social media as a marketing tool may evolve from its current state as an unruly adolescent into an organized, mature, and effective location where readers can stroll among virtual bookshelves without the frustration that marks today’s online pandemonium (spoken like the intimidated Internet illiterate I am, but I’m sure I have company). Perhaps some form of business media will take on e-pubbing while its social counterpart goes its separate way. Illustrator and web designer Shannon Parish, who works mostly with writers, suggested that audio books could come into their own as a new force in the industry.
Tucked beneath the article’s harsh prediction lie huge opportunities for honest, well-earned success. Even now, out of the chaos, new authors and e-published works emerge to claim a profitable place within the reading community.
How can we avoid the potential for crashing if social media marketing fails to produce sales? One answer is collaboration. Building a team of proven professionals can spell the difference between outrageous success and overwhelming disappointment. The vast majority of us can’t do it alone…but that’s a topic for next month’s article.
Have you found social media to be an effective marketing tool? If it disappears, do you believe a literary Phoenix will rise from its ashes to rekindle (no pun intended) book sales? How do you think the bookstore of the future will serve those who just want to write?
Writer and editor Linda Lane helps writers to write well. She believes the best relationships between editors and authors create a learning environment that fixes ailing stories and hones needy craft. Writing is a profession, and professional writing is a learned skill that can be sharpened through the editing process. This summer she will be adding book reviews to the list of services she offers through www.denvereditor.com. Visit her there to see how she and her team can help you realize your dream of creating a great book.